Enter the Conversation Taking Place in Your Customer's Mind

marketing value building Jun 15, 2020

The street outside my window is more lively than it has been in months. The post lady is chatting with the fellow doing some gardening. The lady across the road is giving instructions to her removal crew. And David, my 85-year old neighbor, is mounting his bike for the first time in months.

It feels like London is back to normal today. 

And for some, it is business as usual. But for many business owners, today marks the beginning of the long journey back to normality, or at least some version of it. 

As the world begins to emerge from lockdown, you'll find yourself shifting from survival mode to asking: how do I find traction and start growing my business again?

The answer lies in investing time in obsessing over your dream customers. 

Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs are more obsessed with their product(s) than with their customers—and that's why they struggle or fail. 

"You need to enter the conversation already taking place in the customer's mind." 

In the early 20th century, Robert Collier published one of the greatest books on copywriting, The Robert Collier Letter Book. Colliers believed that to find customers, persuade them to follow you, and hopefully change their lives with the products and services you sell, you need to know and understand them better than they understand themselves.

But most of us are too busy trying to figure out our next marketing campaign to spend time understanding the conversation going on in our customer's head.  

When business owners ask me to help them build a more valuable business, the first thing I look for is clarity. I ask questions like: Why does your business exist? What is your core value proposition? And who is your dream customer?

Most business owners find it difficult to answer these kinds of questions...  

Last week I was coaching a friend who is a marketer and is struggling to take her business in a new direction. During our conversation, it got the feeling that she wasn't clear on who she was trying to reach. When I suggested she create a customer avatar to help her learn more about her dream customer, she immediately replied: "I don't like buyer personas. I feel like I'm creating fictitious characters and putting them into a box so I can sell something to them." 

I told her she was thinking about avatars the wrong way. Instead of thinking of it as a tool to sell her services, she should think of an avatar as a mechanism for entering the conversation going on in her customer's' mind.

As we begin to return to normal, ask yourself why your business exists and who you are trying to reach. You can't reach everyone.

I want to either reach people who are struggling to grow a valuable business or entrepreneurs who want to build a company that can run without them. 

And there are many different subcategories...

They might be solopreneurs who have been struggling to find traction for a couple of years or longtime owners caught in the owner's trap or babyboomers who want to sell – all different sub-niches, sub-avatars. 

But at the most basic level, it's people who want to grow a valuable business—the kind of business that can run without them, on Autopilot. And as a result, it is more valuable to an acquirer. So that's my avatar. I'm not trying to sell them a service. I'm here to help them move away from the pain associated with an underperforming business and the pleasure of owning something valuable.

So, as we emerge from lockdown and you work on re-inventing your business, don't make the mistake of thinking your business is about you. It's not. Your business is about your customer.

Have a great week.

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And be sure to find out how you can work with me for my personal guidance on how to enter the conversation taking place in your customer's mind (and much, much more). 


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