How To Give Customers Exactly What They Want – Before They Ever Ask

The key to selling is to get into your prospective customers’ heads and give them exactly what they have been waiting for, before they ever think to ask for it, or even know what it is that they want. Sound crazy? This is the theory that turned ordinary CEO’s Henry Ford and Steve Jobs into business celebrities and two of the most successful entrepreneurs in history.

Henry Ford famously stated “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” When Steve Jobs launched the first iPhone, he didn’t have hordes of customers asking for a phone that could hold an entire music library and replace your music player, or one that you could watch movies and download audio books on. Nobody was asking for it, because no one had considered that it could be done – but now it’s hard to remember a time when we didn’t have immediate access to all of the information in the world right in our back pockets. 

While these are extraordinary examples of innovation at it’s highest level, there are some key takeaways for any business owner or marketer that needs to get into their customers’ heads and give them exactly what they want, before they think to ask for it. The key is to know, to truly understand, the buyer personas of your prospective customers. I recently attended a conference at the Revere Hotel in Boston. I’ve been to many conferences and seminars over the years, and have never seen a setup as accommodating to attendees as this one was. Rather than your typical ballroom/function room setup that is used for everything from weddings to birthday parties to insurance seminars, the room they hosted this event was tailored toward the business conference attendee. Rows of seats were setup theater style, so that you could see above the heads of the people in front of you and didn’t have to turn your chair around at a round banquet table to watch the speakers. At each seat, there was an electrical outlet (no more reaching across people to elbow your way into the shared power strip or draining your battery halfway through a presentation!) and a fold-down tray for your laptop. They had built a conference room around the buyer persona of the business attendee, considering that person’s wants and needs, in order to attract their target customer, the business event planner.

Sounds easy, right? As a business owner or marketer, we all would like to think that we truly know our customers. But do we? We may have a good feel for their income, education level, and where they live or work, but do we know what makes them tick? Do we know why they might, say, turn their noses at a $4 cookie, but go out of their way to wait in line for a $4 latte? Why they actively listen to one radio station in the morning, but only listen to their iPod while at work? Do we know all of the little intricacies that go into how that person makes decisions about where and when they will spend their money, and what they will spend it on? Do we know what makes them say no to one vendor and yes to another, who are selling virtually the same product or service?

The thing is, as buyers we’re all a bit fickle. We scrimp in some areas and splurge in others, seemingly with no rhyme or reason, We excitedly sign a contract with one provider while ignoring the calls of another – while they’re both selling the same service. In order to understand what makes your prospective customer tick, you need to first learn as much as you can about them, and then segment them into categories based on what appeals to them and their decision making process. These are called buyer personas, and once you’ve identified them for your business, you’ll be well on your way to crafting the messages and designing the graphics that will draw them in and entice them to buy from you.

Ready to get started? Download our free eBook: How to Create a Buyer Persona.

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