Ask Why to Understand Your Customers
It’s generally easy to get kids talking when it’s near Halloween – just ask about their costumes. They’ll go into great detail about their plans, their make-up, the things they need to buy or have bought and the things they’re going to make or have already made. After all, many have spent a long time planning, some have devoted months to it.
I tried this recently with my Sunday School class. The class went from frenzied chaos to focused controlled energy when I asked about their Halloween costumes. That question alone got their attention, but the what really got them engaged was when I asked “Why.”
One boy is going to be a pillowcase. He was counting on getting lots of candy and wanted to make it easier to carry. He figured that he uses a pillowcase to collect his candy, so why not make it the costume. His mother was going to pin two cases together, one for the front and one for the back, and then put shoulder straps on it. That way, he could fill up the front and then turn it around to fill up the back.
One of the girls was going as a superhero. She admired the character’s strength and wanted to be just like her. Another was going as Tweedle Dum because her friend was going as Tweedle Dee.
Have you thought lately about the “why” that motivates your customers? It matters because it reveals motivations, perspectives and what is important to people. Some key questions you want to know the answers to include
- Why does this person need your service?
- What is most important to them about it?
- How are they going to make their decision about whether to use you or someone else?
This information can help in developing services and products that will interest the people you want to work with. And, it will help you develop marketing plans and create the content that will resonate with them.
Getting people to talk about their why is usually about as easy as getting kids to talk about their Halloween costumes. They love their businesses, they’ve spent a lot of time thinking about them,
and they want someone to understand them. You can be that person.
Take your marketing communications to the next level. Contact me to learn about our hands-on planning program.
Good post, Jennifer. Taking time to listen closely to another person is a great compliment. Getting to their “why” first is a lot better than describing our product features without understanding the other person’s needs and goals.
November 1, 2016