I just spent the weekend in San Diego, California, at Digital Marketer’s Traffic & Conversion Summit. It’s the “who’s who” of Internet marketing. I heard attendance numbers were around 4,000.
Some of the attendees are hard-core marketers who have made millions selling products to other marketers. Some are small business owners, like me, who want to learn new techniques and tactics to improve and grow their businesses.
I was there with FunnelDash, one of my newer clients. This was a 72-hour immersion for me in how to sell this product.
I talked a lot over the weekend. I’m amazed my voice isn’t more raspy and rough. But I also spent a lot of time listening.
I listened to my colleagues talk about our product, so I knew more about how it operates and how to use it. I listened to our current customers talk about how our product helped them become more successful. And I listened to prospective customers asking questions about how our product works and how it can help them.
This last one was most important to me. And it should be most important to you too. These questions are going to tell you a lot about what your prospective customers think about your product now, and what they really want your product to be able to do.
Why Listening Matters
I was very interested in the questions our prospective customers asked. I was able to answer all of the questions regarding the benefits of our product, and some of the technical ones. But I regularly turned to my colleagues to get better technical answers.
As I listened to these answers, I did more than just pay attention to what my colleague was saying. My marketing brain frequently went into overdrive, as I worked to position this answer into a benefit that I could use in our future marketing efforts.
I also paid a lot of attention to questions that I had to answer with, “no, it doesn’t do that.” These are great future product and development ideas. (For FunnelDash, some of these are already in the works, so I could say “not quite yet, but very soon.)
How Listening Can Help You Develop Your Marketing Message
I realize that I’m a copywriter, and positioning my clients’ products and services my job. However, this is something that you can apply to your business too. This is a great way to develop your company’s marketing message.
When someone asks a question about your product or service, they’re looking for a solution to a problem they have.
This should prompt you to ask yourself two questions:
- How can I position my product so that it does solve this person’s problem?
- How can I improve my product so that it is the solution this person is looking for?
Repositioning Your Product to Become the Solution
You may have a firm idea of what your product or service does for your customer. You created it. You know how it works, you know why you created it and you know what you think the end result or benefit is for your customers.
However, that doesn’t mean your customers believe the same thing.
If you’ve ever watched a child play with, well pretty much anything, you’ve seen that the human mind has many ways of approaching any given problem or situation. We tend to be very creative with how we see the world. The object the child is playing with may have a certain use. But that doesn’t mean the child is using it that way.
A classic example is the toddler who pulls a couple of pots out of a cabinet, turns them over and starts banging on them with the nearest stick-like object. The manufacturer never intended its pots to be used as drums, but they do make a good, loud noise.
Another example I’ve seen recently (and this was a clever adult, not a child) was to use a slinky to stop squirrels from raiding the bird feeder.
Sometimes, your customer will ask a question that may not make your product seem like the “perfect solution,” yet it will actually solve their problem and give them the long-term benefit they’re looking for.
Your job is to figure out how to re-position your product or service so that you can show this customer the benefits you can deliver.
Listen to your customer’s question. Ask them more about what problem they’re trying to solve. If your product is the solution, find a way to respond to their question that meets them where they are.
What’s the difference between your current marketing and your customer’s question?
Sometimes, it’s language. Your potential customer may be phrasing their question in a way that makes it seem like they’re looking for a different answer, but your product or service really is the solution.
Sometimes it’s a lack of knowledge. Your potential customer may not know enough about the problem they’re trying to solve. By asking them a few questions, you can get enough information to show them that yes, your product or service is what they’re looking for.
In either of these situations, you can take the response you give your potential customer, and use it to improve your marketing message.
Building a Better Product, and a Better Customer Relationship
Generally speaking, a potential customer won’t ask about your product or service, unless it’s close to what they’re looking for.
If your product isn’t a “perfect fit,” it’s a good idea to say, “No, it doesn’t do that. However, that’s a great idea. Let me take your contact information. That way I can let you know when I’ve added that feature to my product or service so it does meet your needs.”
Obviously, you shouldn’t do this unless you’re genuinely interested in changing your product or service, but this idea is great for customer service and product development. It will also help you grow your email list.
Once you’ve added the new feature to your product or service, use your prospective customer’s original question and need to adjust or add to your current marketing message.
If your new feature was an idea from a specific potential customer, contact them and let them know you’ve added the feature that will help them. Ask them if it’s okay to acknowledge them in your marketing message, and thank them for the idea.
If it was something several potential (and current) customers asked for, acknowledge that in your marketing message. Make it clear that you listen to your customers and want to help them solve their problems. Thank them for helping you make a better product that serves their needs.
Do You Listen to Your Customers and Use That Information to Improve Your Marketing Message?
What kinds of questions do you get from your customers? Do you incorporate their questions, concerns and ideas into your messaging, and your product? Tell me about it in the comments.