Have you ever been out with a group of people and had trouble trying to decide on a restaurant that everyone agrees on? We’ve all been there, right?
Over Christmas there were many get together’s and meals eaten out at restaurants with family and friends.
One of the things I noticed was how everyone was driven by different motivations. Some were driven by price, others location, some needed somewhere child-friendly, and some wanted a particular type of cuisine.
Everyone’s motivations were different. Because every person on this planet is different. They have different likes, dislikes and are exposed to different situations.
Today, I pose the question, “Do you understand what your market is driven by?”
Identifying your target market is a very important aspect of running a business and making sales, which most people already know and do. But, understanding your market takes this idea one step further.
Understanding your market begins by recognising that your market takes into account Internal Influences that you control, and External Influences that your market controls.
Internal Influences are the things that give an impression about your business. These are things you do to attract a particular type of client. Your branding, positioning, marketing materials, and business partners are all things that give an impression about your business. These are all things you create and control.
If you spend a lot of time and money creating a professional image through your branding and marketing materials, you are trying to attract people who want to do business with a professional.
If you align yourself with business partners who are leaders in their field and have been around for a long time, you are trying to attract people who want to do business with the market leaders.
If you position yourself as a high-end business or brand whom only the elite can afford, you attract the elite.
External Influences are the values your clients hold, the experiences they’ve had, their driving forces. These are the things that influence them to do business with one person over another.
Perhaps they like to feel like they are the most important person on the earth.
Perhaps they value their time so much so that they are offended when anyone runs late.
Perhaps they value image more than money.
These things are outside of your control. You cannot control their values or experiences or driving forces. But you can try to identify them, which will help you understand how your actions are being perceived by your target market and whether those actions need to be altered to help improve your sales.
To identify the external influences and perceptions of your market, the only way is to ask them. Here are four types of people you can ask.
- Existing Clients – Ask them what made them choose you, over your competitors.
- Leads – When you get a new enquiry, you can pre-qualify them and try to understand them, by asking them what you need to do to win their business.
- Failed Leads, the quotes you did not win. When you follow these leads up and get the bad news, do not be afraid to ask them why they chose to go with another option.
- Alliances, your business partners and referrers – Go out of your way to understand their motivations. Ask them why they choose to refer you, and not someone else.
If you don’t know the answers to these questions, perhaps this week is a good time to find out.