How To Create A Better Buyer

Have you ever had to pre-play an event in your mind to ensure a successful outcome? I was finishing up a workshop when one of the participants came up to me and asked for my card.  I politely gave them one, packed my stuff and headed back to the office.  As I was replaying the day’s events in my head, I thought to myself, I need to reach out to this individual.  As I sent the email, slowly started to anticipate a scenario of– how much of this follow-up is the beginning of a REAL sales prospect and how much of this is my drummed up perception?

You see, I believe 90% of your customer interactions should be valuable, whether I am collecting information or presenting information it should be meaningful.  I believe when you begin to think that way you begin to think about how you are creating a better buyer.  In this post, we begin to delve into what it takes to ensure that happens.

As business owners, customer feedback should be the cornerstone of your customer strategy. Understanding and acting upon the input you receive from your customers is the firm axis around which market diversity and creativity revolve. In the vast majority of cases, a firm’s ability to collect and use customer feedback is the primary factor in determining whether it will ascend the path of success or melt away into irrelevance.

Despite the simplicity of the concept, making good use of customer feedback is far trickier than you would expect. Market studies and traditional methods of managing customer feedback often fall short of explaining what actually makes your clients tick, with sudden falls in sales and revenue taking managers by surprise.  In order to get at this directly, you must first understand that commerce is, in essence, another form of social interaction.  Managing customer feedback should explore the realms of human psychology and economic irrationality, which are increasingly dominated by top experts as the real sources of client behavior.  Consequently, we have identified two key notions and possible solutions for improving the way you manage customer feedback. The idea is to help you look at your business differently and try to target what your clients really want.

 

Economic Rationality is a Myth

Whoever said that people always make the rational buying choice was an idealist, to put it nicely. When it comes to purchasing goods or services, our motivations are only marginally influenced by the sterile principles of rational economics. By contrast, our market behavior is and has always been, dominated by our inner drives and hidden desires.

 

Think about our desire for instant gratification. How many times have we indulged in a rather unwise purchase, but still felt really good about it? How many times has either our mood or our emotions actually called the shots—several times for me, but I digress! Even with our unprecedented access to information, how often do we actually sit down to compare prices before buying something, especially if it’s a regular purchase?

What should businesses do? The simplistic answer is.. find out what people really want. Regardless of what type of method you use (online questionnaires, surveys, phone or on-location interviews), ask questions and be specific. Not only that, learn to ask the right questions to get more insightful questions. Don’t ask for standard feedback or tedious comparisons. Employ emotions and humor, while using the feedback process itself in order to build trust and goodwill. Questions like: “Would you see yourself shop here when you’re sad?”, “Which loved ones would you bring here first?”, “How does our shop make you feel?”.

Basic Buyer Psychology

Understand that nobody is immune to Peer Pressure!  It is well-documented that behavior has a tendency to be heavily influenced by others when making decisions. Though this was a useful survival tool in primeval times, today it manifests itself in how we buy stuff just for the sake of social acceptance or to avoid being branded as different. The desire to fit in a social group can thus be the most important motivator in market behavior.

 

What should businesses do? Find out what your customer likes and then try to find out what their people like. You should always be thinking one step ahead of your customer.  Don’t ask them primarily about what they like, but about what important people in their lives like. You’ll be surprised it’s often not the same thing!

 

Our modern prosperity and technological progress have nothing to do with any fundamental moral or ethical advancement.  Rather they originate in the relentlessness of competitive forces of human nature and human behaviorAt the true core of our buyers, experience lies their perception of the truth and it is up to us as marketers to find it.

 

Now, if the key to being competitive is your ability to determine why people purchase your goods or services, then understanding your customer’s psychological motivations behind their choices becomes all the more critical.  I believe sometimes it’s just as harder to keep customers than to acquire new ones.  Let’s make it a priority to invest in a solid customer strategy that’s fundamentally dedicated to mining and managing customer feedback to sustain our business prosperity.

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