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By Michael Angier

Do You Know What They Really Want?

All too often we make assumptions about what people want instead of asking them. Many products, and even businesses, are launched because the owners THINK they know what prospects and customers want. And they frequently find out too late and after much expense that their assumptions were flawed.

Just because you like something, just because you're excited about a product or service, doesn't mean enough other people will be. I'm a big believer in passion, but it can't be just YOUR passion. Before launching something new, you should practice due diligence to enhance the chances for your success.

We've been asking a lot of questions of some of our subscribers and members lately. The insight and awareness we've gained has been invaluable. And we're making changes all the time based upon what we've learned.

The Gold Mine section in this issue is a result of members telling us they need to be reminded of all the freebies and discounts we offer. Because there are so many, they are sometimes forgotten. So each week, we'll provide a mention and a link to one or two of these benefits.

It was easy to do, but we wouldn't have done it if we hadn't asked.

One of the easiest ways to find out what your prospects and/or customers want is to use a simple ranking process. Call some of your customers and ask them for a few moments of their time. This exercise can be done in a survey, but you'll gain far more value if you talk with them personally.

Ask them how they would rate your products or services on a scale of one to ten. If they say "ten," ask them why. The reason THEY rank you as a ten may be totally different than you suspect.

If the answer is anything LESS than a ten, ask what it would take to MAKE it a ten. This is a great starting point to find out what they really want. Don't defend anything you do or don't do. Keep asking what they want and how they want to be served.

In doing so, you'll gain priceless information and endear yourself to your customer. People want to know that you care and they want to be heard. It's a win all the way around. From here you can tweak what you do to better serve the true wants of your clientele.

You can also use this same process in a focus group, in person or on a conference call. It oftentimes can work even better than one-on-one.

The main thing is to ask. It seems so obvious, but based upon our experiences in dealing with other companies, it's not done often enough.

Action Point
Employ the methods outlined above. Do it on an ongoing basis. Be willing to change and adapt to your customer's needs and wants.

In doing so, your customers will be more loyal, you'll gain NEW customers, and you'll increase sales and profits.

Note: If you're not directly involved in end-user sales or service, you still have customers. They may not buy from you, but you deliver your services to SOMEONE—your boss, someone further down the line or even a vendor. The process works in any situation.

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Last Updated 06/07/2005