Marketing Tip: How to Tell Your Customer What They Want to Hear
If you’ve been working on your marketing, you’ve probably been working on your branding.
You’ve debated voice and tone with your team. You’ve selected the logo and colors that bring the kind of energy that reflects the spirit of your brand. You’ve discussed mission and values, whether you want your brand to feel youthful or experienced, polished or fun.
And if you’re like a lot of business owners, you might find yourself slipping into the self-presentation trap.
That is to say, you’re so into the branding that you forgot what really pulls in the leads.
Because it’s not how interesting, clever, or innovative your company looks.
It’s how well you demonstrate an understanding of your clients needs.
Listen, I’m not slamming branding. That’s an important part of your marketing strategy, no question.
What I’m saying is that at the end of the day, marketing exists to do one thing:
Convince prospective buyers that you can make their lives better.
And most of the time, those would-be customers don’t care about the things you care about. Which means in order to craft a compelling marketing message, you’ve got to stop obsessing over how you want to look and start obsessing over what customers want to hear.
And how can you get inside their heads?
Let’s talk about that.
Forget What You Know
First, set aside everything you know the client needs.
Forget about the state-of-the-art equipment, the highly trained crew, your years of experience, the industry awards proving your superiority… all of it. Drop it. Just for now.
It might turn out that the things that are important to you are the same thing your customer wants to know about. But right now, we’re trying to get out of the professional’s head and into the consumer’s head.
Okay, so you’ve set aside your own bias. Now…
Imagine the Customer Experience
Put yourself in your prospective client’s shoes. What’s going on for them emotionally when they’re seeking a service like yours? What is their biggest worry? Their greatest hope? Can you describe their ideal outcome?
If you’ve been in the customer’s shoes before, use that insight! But also keep in mind that your target customer might have a different response based on their unique circumstances.
For example, if you provide water damage restoration and you’ve had a pipe burst in your own home, you know firsthand the panic and urgency all homeowners feel in that situation.
But if you were single and living in your first home at the time, you might have a different set of fears and priorities than the mother of four who just discovered a pipe burst at 5:00 a.m. on a Tuesday.
So tap into your own experiences and consider the factors that might raise different fears and goals for someone else.
Observe the Customer Experience
If you don’t already, pay close attention to how your existing clients respond to both their problem and your solutions.
What are the most common questions customers ask? What is their emotional state when they reach out to you or when you show up to do a job? How do they seem to feel after the job is complete?
One easy way to gain this information is to simply be present and listen to your customer. It’s easy to get so focused on doing the job fast and well that you don’t stop to actually check in with the client. Give them a moment to explain their situation, ask questions, and raise concerns.
You’ll learn pretty quickly what your clients want most from you.
Keep Track of Client Feedback
Whether it’s in-person feedback or online reviews, keep track of what your customers say about your services.
What reasons do they give for loving (or not loving) the work you did for them? Check your competitor’s online reviews. What do their customers say?
Most likely, patterns will emerge. You might discover that easy communication matters way more to your buyer than your years of experience.
Invite Input From Your Team
Ask your employees to help you get the full picture of the customer experience.
Your receptionist can tell you what people ask first when they call the office. Your techs can let you know what they say to reassure distraught customers. Your sales team can clue you in to the aspects of their pitch that get the best response from property managers.
Keep in mind that in order for this to work to your best advantage, you have to cultivate a culture of openness and support in your business. For example, if a client gets pissed at your techs for packing out fragile heirlooms a little too quickly, your techs have to know they can relay that information without having you immediately focus on their failure to satisfy the customer.
Create a culture where everyone is here to learn, and you’ll find that your staff holds a lot of valuable intel.
Bring It Back to You
At this point, you’ve probably got a solid list going. Let’s say you’ve learned that your client:
- Cares a lot about transparency in pricing, delays, and timeline.
- Worries that a property disaster will undo all the money and energy they put into their home.
- Immediately stresses about having to deal with the insurance company.
- Is more concerned about the health risks of a flood or sewage backup than clients may have been in the past.
Now that you have this list, bring yourself back into the mix. What are you exceptionally good at? What is your mission as a business owner? Where is the intersection between your strengths and the client’s needs?
I encourage you to ask these questions because while the goal of marketing is to tell the client what they need to hear, it’s also important to do this from a place of authenticity. That’s why you put so much energy into your branding, right?
And I guarantee you, you will find an urgent client need that you are uniquely prepared to address.
At 911 Restoration, our core value is the Fresh Start attitude—the philosophy that every disaster is an opportunity to rebuild better than before. Our mission is to provide immediate peace of mind for frantic property owners.
Now, in our marketing we also mention the features of our business that help deliver that peace of mind. 24-hour availability, 45-minute response times, IICRC certification, free insurance consultation, and so on.
But all these features are framed as the tools we use to ease their worries and give them a Fresh Start.
That’s the fun of marketing. You can tell your buyers exactly what they want to hear while remaining true to your vision for your business.
And in the end, that’s the marketing message that gets the best results.
Customer obsessed. Fully authentic.
Further Resources on This Topic
Blog Post: The Power of Customer-Obsessed Marketing
Free Video Course: Creating a Business That Makes an Impact