Learn why your customers buy and why that is useful to you

by DanB

All products and services have many features and more importantly,
benefits. You spend time discovering these and crafting a sales
letter or presentation for selling the product. How do you know
which features and benefits are really pulling the sales in? Simple
- ask your customer.

I know answers like that seem obvious but you would be surprised
how many people don’t do it. In fact this lesson took me a long
time to learn. See I would find a product I liked then write up the
features that appealed to me. Turned out people often found feature
I overlooked more interesting.

At the most basic level you simply ask your customer why they
bought your product. Then keep asking people the questions until
you start to see some trends.

I recommend you pick up the phone and call a few of your customers
just after they order. Tell them who you are then ask them why they
bought your product today. Note their answer then ask them what
about your product they found particularly interesting. For each
answer they give you ask them if that influenced their decision to
buy. Finally ask them what information they would have liked to
know but weren’t able to find.

You are asking question from general to specific:

* Why did you buy?
* What specifically did you like about the product?
* Was there anything else that you liked? (repeat as necessary)
* Was there anything you wanted to know but didn’t learn?
* Thank you!

Easy and it won’t take you more than just a few minutes for each
call.

Another effective question to ask is “If you were the owner of my
business what would you do differently?”. You will get amazing
answers to this question. This question is powerful – but – you
have to ask it after you’ve asked the other questions. If you try
to start with this question they will answer “nothing” or “I don’t
know”. So ask the other questions first. Then try this magical
question.

As you take your little survey certain features and benefits will
come up more frequently. Make a note of these trends then review
your presentations and sales letters. You want to make sure that
your top features and benefits are covered enough. Rewrite the
letter if necessary. Of course you want to test any changes against
your previous results.

For Internet, mail order, or phone purchases you will want to do
your survey before your customer receives the actual product. I
know this isn’t always possible. Since they don’t have the actual
product yet their answers will really be referring to your sales
letter. After they have the product you won’t be sure.

The first time you try this I think you’ll be very pleased. The
person on the other end of the line will be pleasantly surprised
that you called. The fact that you are actually interested in their
opinion will surprise them even more. To really seal the deal send
them a nice handwritten thank you note for their time.

I urge you to give this survey technique a try you will be very
pleased with the results.

(c) 2005 Dan Butler
Originally published in the DButler Update 27 May 2005

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