In case you missed my first Podcast Junkie post, let me explain: I am a self-proclaimed “podcast junkie” who listens to at least one podcast episode a day. Since I am
obsessed in love with marketing and business, my podcasts are usually around these exact topics. So I capture some takeaways and put them into a monthly featured article.
Podcast: Amy Porterfield’s “Online Marketing Made Easy” Episode #036
An oldie but a goodie.
Each Amy Porterfield podcast is always full of great action items and tips. I usually can’t listen to them in the car because I want to take notes on all the great things she (and her guests) cover!
This episode is from good ole’ 2014 but all the info she covers is timeless. This episode breaks down some new strategies and tools you can take that will help you understand your core customer better.
Here is what Amy wrote for the description of this episode:
[Amy interviews Pam Hendrickson] Pam worked for Tony Robbins for close to 20 years before going out on her own. Considering her experience with Robbins, she thought launching her first products would be easy, but she was wrong. In spite of the fact that the products were great, she made very few sales. The turning point for her was when she learned how to give her customers what they want, and in this episode, we uncover exactly how to do that.
Product Sales Success Formula
You must deliver the right product, with the right message, to the right person, at the right time.
Simple enough right? A “no-brainer?” Wrong.
As a new business owner I struggle with the “right message to the right person.” I understand my core customer, but sometimes I don’t get super-specific with my sales message to my core customer.
The reason I can forget? Fear.
I start thinking: “What if I isolate and alienate someone who could potentially buy my product or service?”
This is exactly the kind of thinking that leads to potent sales messages getting watered down and generalized.
The foundation of selling any product or service comes from really understanding who our customer is and what they want.
If Your Product Isn’t Selling
Start by focusing on the ideal person you want to work with. But, as this podcast points out, this is only the first step and this is also what most business people ALREADY do and then they stop here.
In order to be successful we really have to take it one step further by understanding the pain and defining the exact problem they are experiencing (as it relates to our product/service).
When you can target [your sales message] so specifically that you can understand the exact precise problem that your market is experiencing then your marketing as a slam dunk.”
Let’s unpack her three-step process on how to do this.
Step One: Strategies and Tools
Just start writing down what you know.
Then take 10 min a day for the next two weeks to get more specific, pick one of these ideas to get you started:
- Send a survey to your email list to ask them the challenges they are facing.
- What are your competitors doing? Are there some ads that they run over and over? Check out Keyword Spy and Ispionage.
- Create a customer survey and put the survey link on your social media page, website, email signature, anywhere you can think of.
- Keyword research is important, not just for your message, but also to understand how your core customer talks and what questions they have.
- Do an internet search by typing in “market research and ____ (insert your industry)” see what comes up.
- Pew Research Center is also a good website to find information.
Here are the answers you want to find out:
- First, business demographics: How old are they? What’s their education level? What is their average income? Do they have kids? Are they married?
- (b2b sales) What is the job title they have? What is the job title they are working towards? What are the key job functions your core customer performs? Correlate these answers into how your product or service can help them perform better at their job.
Take your answers from the above and transform them into five main problems that your ideal customer faces. The things that keep them awake at night and are big big frustrations.
BINGO! Now you have your content plan. Write your blog posts, social media updates and sales messages around how your product is the solution to these problems.
Step Two: Active Listening
It’s one thing to take a survey but it’s another to really sit with someone as they are struggling and understand the challenges that they face. Take any opportunity you can to be next to your ideal customer and colleague.
Uncover the frustrations they experience.
Go to events, network, participate. Anything to get in front of that audience. Things I know that have really been a good resource for me are local Meetups, joining my local Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Association website. Attend these face-to-face events religiously for at least the first two years of your new business.
It may be uncomfortable but it’s that uncomfortableness that makes you more relatable to other people. You have to talk to your audience about their problems but you also have to share your struggles and problems as well.” Amy Porterfield
Step Three: Empathy is Your Product Selling Secret Weapon
What is empathy?
- The intellectual identification with the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another
- The vicarious experiencing of those feelings, thoughts, or attitudes.
Empathy involves putting oneself in another person’s shoes.
In general, the quickest way out of anxiety and stress is to think about another person and their struggles. Remember this if you start stressing about trying to sell your product.
Remember, we get into business because we really want to help. We want to save people from going through the mistakes that we’ve made and to learn what we’ve learned. I truly believe that. Your ideal business customer has heart and so do you.
Take this great marketing example from Google:
This ad is all about a father recording his emotional connection — the pride and joy and humility fatherhood generates — with his daughter through technology.
Empathy connects people to your product.
This article is really about setting yourself up for business success and how to effectively increase product sales. So just to recap:
- Start with gathering all the info you can find about your ideal customer.
- Choose one new event or meetup to go to. Really reach out and engage with others in some active listening.
- Finally, take 30 min and really feel what your core customer is feeling. Do this before you start writing sales messages.
- Block out and schedule this time right now on your calendar or it “only becomes possible.”
What’s talked about is a dream what’s envisioned is exciting what’s planned becomes possible but only what scheduled is real.” Tony Robbins
I would love to hear what your specific challenges are. What types of things keep you up at night? Leave your comment below.