I was in a marketing meeting last night and found myself blurting out with authority “You are not your customer!” Oftentimes as business owners we craft advertising messages that focus on us instead of our ideal target customer.
Sometimes as salespeople we treat our customers the way we want to be treated. The Golden Rule is a great start but as marketers and salespeople we must go further. We must come all the way across the table and really spend time and energy thinking about our ideal target customers and what they want and need.
Let me give you a few examples of how believing that you are your customer can hurt your advertising and sales. If you are a salesperson whose income is less than your customers and you believe you are your customer you will believe that they won’t buy your products because you think they can’t afford it. But they can! Remember You are not your customer!
If you are a business owner who thanks to hard work and proper focus has made it financially. As you socialize at the yacht club and attend dinner parties you start to be influenced by your new friends. You might start to pull back on your advertising in both energy and urgency to make it more appealing to the new you. Over the years there is a real tendency to make your advertising prettier. Remember ugly ads often pull better than pretty ads especially if you sell middle priced to promotional goods. If you are selling high end goods your ads need to be more elegant.
Sometimes folks from other professions retire and after a few years of golfing and fishing go back to work as an RSA in a furniture or mattress store. By the way, these salespeople are usually worth their weight in gold. They too need to remember that “You are not your customer.”
The three pillars of marketing are Media, Message, and Market. Right? Wrong! Market is #1, Message is #2 and Media is #3. If you as a store owner don’t accurately target your ideal customer (Market) you will never get your message right. You could actually have the right media but the wrong message and your advertising investment is wasted.
If you do not focus on who your ideal customer is your advertising, display, merchandising, sales education and service will all be wrong leaving you with high advertising costs and low sales. Not to mention your customers won’t enjoy your store, and your employees won’t want to work in your store. So please remember to focus on your ideal target customer and remember you are not your customer.
Knowledge is power. Knowing that you are not your customer will improve all aspects of your store. Take time every week if not everyday to reflect on this truth. Reflection to the point of introspection will make us all better store owners and salespeople. Have a Great Market and a Great Weekend!
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