The One Simple Thing You Need To Do To Attract More Customers

24 September, 2014

Chriping of crickets

Have you ever felt personally victimised by the chirping of crickets?

I have.

You know what I mean – the days when no one calls, no one emails and even the waiter at the network breakfast ignores you. It’s daunting enough handling the day-to-day demands of admin, suppliers and staff, never mind finding your next customer. Ugh.

Well, there’s good news. Getting another client on board doesn’t have to be that difficult. With the right tips and tools at your disposal, they’ll be knocking on your door – all without fancy brochures, websites or big budgets.

Here’s the one thing you need to do to attract more customers:

Ask questions.

Not just any old questions, mind. Real questions. Thought-provoking questions. Insights-driven questions. Open-up-and-tell-me-your-life-story kind of questions.

Here’s why: when you understand how your customer thinks – what their dreams, hopes and ambitions are, what they fear, what they worry about, what they churn around in their heads all day – then you can start to speak to them in a language they understand. When they know that you ‘get’ them, and can provide a solution for them, they’ll be more likely to collaborate with you.

Human behaviour studies show that we like people who like us, and we are more inclined to do business with these people. Asking questions builds rapport, which builds relationship, which leads to insights, which leads to trust. This is gold in today’s connected economy.

Here’s an exercise for you:

  1. Find 10 people who are your ideal customers. You’ve either done work for them in the past or anticipate that you could work with them in the future.
  2. Set up a face-to-face meeting (ideal) or agree to chat over skype, phone or email. You’ll need at least half and hour, more if they have the time.
  3. Ask specific questions to find out what’s happening in their lives as it relates to your business. Try and record their comments verbatim.
  4. When you’ve interviewed a whole bunch or people, look for common words or concepts that keep coming up. This is the treasure, because it speaks directly to a world-view or life belief that your ideal customer group has in common.
  5. Now you know how they think about a certain subject, how they language it, and what emotional triggers it has for them. Use these insights in your marketing material to establish common ground. For example, Sally might say that one of her biggest fears is that her business becomes too big and that this will compromise her family time. Bingo! She’s given you an insight into her values. Now you can address this very real fear in a way that relates to your business [on your FAQs page on your website, for example]. When Sally reads this, she immediately knows that you understand her, and that your business is most likely the one for her.

Some questions to get you started:

  • Which 3 brands do you admire? Why?
  • What do you worry about? What keeps you up at night?
  • What strategies have you used in the past that worked? What didn’t work?
  • What’s a dream solution to your problem?
  • Have you ever used a service like mine before? What did you pay for it? Were you happy with it? What would you change about it?
  • And so on.

For each person, record their pain point, their dream solution and something you could do to lighten their load as it relates to your business.

Use your insights as material to develop new products and to market your business. You’ll be amazed at the response you get when you give your customer what she wants.

What’s in it for you? #nomorecrickets

Good luck. Please keep me posted on how it goes. If you have other sure-fire techniques to get more customers, or great questions to ask, let us know.

Image credit:

Robyn Young - Personal Leadership Branding for Executives

About the Author

Robyn Young

As a personal leadership branding strategist, Robyn Young helps individuals identify and articulate their unique strengths, values and goals, empowering them to build an authentic personal brand that resonates with their stakeholders.

Robyn has a keen eye for aligning personal attributes with professional aspirations, helping her clients project a powerful and compelling image in their chosen field.