The Truth about Customers

March 28, 2011

Customers are often a mystery to businesses because they might buy for reasons other that the reasons the company thinks. People are looking for a benefit when buying a product or service. If the company succeeds in promoting the benefit the customer wants, the sale is virtually made. But the truth is that people do not always buy benefits. They buy a whole lot more:

• They buy promises you make. So make them with care.
• They buy your credibility or don’t buy if you lack it.
• They buy solutions to their problems.
• They buy other people’s opinions of your business.
• They buy expectations based upon your marketing.
• They buy the consistency they’ve seen you exhibit.
• They buy value, which is not the same as price.
• They buy easy access to information about you, offered by your website.
• They buy comfort, offerings that fit their comfort zone.

It’s also important to know what customers do not buy: fancy adjectives, exaggerated claims, clever headlines, special effects, marketing that screams, marketing that even hints at amateurishness, the lowest price anything (though 14 percent do), unproven items, or gorgeous graphics that get in the way of the message. They also do not buy humor that hides benefits, offerings heralded with unreadable type, poor grammar or misspelled words, salespeople who don’t listen, or things they don’t fully understand or trust.

The best marketing of all is that which involves honesty and informs the customer. It builds confidence and invites a purchase. Best and most unique of all – it gets through to people. That’s why knowing the truth about them will help you to stand apart from your competitors and shine in the minds of your prospects and customers.

Best, Linda

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