3 Things You Must Know About Your Customers

by Matt Heinz

3 Things You Must Know About Your CustomersEvery great product, every successful sales & marketing plan, starts with the customer. As you build product and go-to-market plans moving forward, make sure you can crisply answer these three questions:

  1. Who is our customer? You want a crisp definition here, a solid profile and/or persona that tells your entire team who you’re building for and selling to. Who are they, what are they doing, where did they come from, and where are they going.
  2. What does the customer want? Think in terms of outcomes, not solutions. What does success look like for your customer, not with your product but overall? What are their objectives in the coming months or year? What’s waking them up at night, and what do they think about when they get up in the morning? Can you map what you’re doing to what your customer really needs and wants?
  3. What does the customer value enough to pay for now? This is where value translation comes in. There’s an acuteness of want & need here that moves from “nice to have” to “must have” in a way that builds enough urgency to make a move and buy.

How well can you answer these questions? More importantly, how confident are you that your product, sales and marketing strategies are built around the right answers?

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Matt HeinzMatt Heinz is principal at Heinz Marketing, a sales & marketing consulting firm helping businesses increase customers and revenue. Contact Matt at matt@heinzmarketing.com or visit www.heinzmarketing.com.

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  1. I love that consumer research questions are being asked on an innovation blog. The best ideation occurs only after you have a deep understanding of your consumer.

  2. Amen, brother.

    Ideas are the middle of the process, not the beginning as many people say.

    If you haven’t identified a unique, valuable, and differentiated consumer insight, how can you possibly hope to come up with any ideas that your competitors won’t come up with too?

    There is a reason that Apple’s slogan for a while was Think Different – if you think the same as your competition you’ll perform like them too. The trick is too see the key to value in the market that everyone else is missing and then deliver a solution that captures it flawlessly and elegantly.

    The key to successful innovation lies in the insight and the execution, not in the idea.

    All the best,

    Braden
    @innovate

  3. The common sales lesson would be “sell the sizzle not the steak”. Before you can do that, you need to understand your customer.

    The response we use to get our people thinking is “What if your customer doesn’t want steak?” Find out what they like, then sell the sizzle. If they want stir fry, make it happen!

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