How to Think Like a Customer

If you're a long-time reader of this blog then you'll know I've reviewed her book before, but Kristin Zhivago's Roadmap to Revenue: How to Sell the Way Your Customers Want to Buy has been a great influencer of how I think about marketing. Thinking like a marketer is all well and good, until it’s time to sell a product or service to someone who is not, and will never be, a marketer.

Who are you trying to sell to? The customer.

And how does your customer think? Unless you are very lucky, he or she probably does not think like you. And in order to sell to them, you need to know what they are feeling, thinking, and planning on doing.

There are a couple of ways you can do this:

  1. Become your own customer – go into a store or visit the website, call customer service or the sales department, ask questions and get friends of yours to do the same thing.
  2. Talk to your customers – this can be accomplished via one on one interviews, surveys or focus groups, follow up materials, etc.

In order to get the most out of the experience, think about what you want to learn.

  1. What are your customers looking for when they come to you? What problem are they trying to solve?
  2. What questions do they have? What happens when these questions are not answered?
  3. What is the experience like? What do they do immediately after they purchase from you?
  4. Why do customers choose not to buy from you and where do they go next?

Once you learn the answers to these questions, you will have a better sense of who you are marketing to. You will know what they want, and you will know how to give it to them. You can write advertising and website content that speaks directly to their needs and how you plan to meet them.