In Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games, the young protagonist, Katniss Everdeen’s life depends on impressing an audience. She draws back her bow and takes aim at the target. Everyone is holding their breath, watching her. She misses.
Bored, the audience turns away. She’s lost them.
When you write sales messages for your website or emails, it’s easy to lose your audience because you missed the mark. Failing to understand the deeper concerns of your readers is like shooting at a target wearing a blindfold.
So how do you find out that information?
Create a Target Profile to help write your sales messages
To get useful information you need to sit down with one customer, ask questions and, crucially, listen deeply.
How does finding out about just one customer help you get more customers?
Like attracts like
In a small rural business you need:
- customers who value what you do,
- customers you can serve exceptionally well
- customers who will be with you for the long term
By creating a Target Profile from an interview with one of your best customers you learn how to attract more of the same. If you write for that one raving fan, you will attract more raving fans.
So how do you know who to pick?
How do you choose a target profile?
Choose your best customer. Not simply the most profitable one, the but the one who is a pleasure to deal with.
It must be one who loves buying from you. One who values what you do and who, if you asked, would shout about you from the rooftops.
Now that you’ve chosen your biggest fan, you move to the next step, the interview.
How do you do a Customer Profile interview?
Take them out for coffee (& cake) or a glass of wine or beer. Ask questions. Listen. Discover the before and after picture.
What was their difficulty, concern or quest before they found you and how did it work out after they bought your goods or services?
Find out what keeps them up at night, how they found you, where people like them hang out.
Don’t forget to ask permission to quote them. To do that you need to capture what they say.
Record the conversation
If possible record the conversation. You can download voice recording applications for many smart phones.
Recording the conversation allows you to concentrate on what your customer is saying, rather than worry about note taking.
You’ll also have a record of the exact words she used. This helps you create your sales messages. As Meat Loaf said,
“You took the words right out of my mouth” – find phrases to use in your sales messages
If, for instance, your customer uses the word ‘discover’ and ‘delights’ when talking about visiting food festivals, then use those words in your sales messages.
“Discover the delights of our sweet and succlent lamb, raised on the salt marshes of the estauary of the River Taf. Buy direct from our Carmarthenshire farm.”
If your customer talks about ‘struggling to understand techy speak’. Then create a headline using those same words.
“Do you struggle to understand tecchy speak when trying to get quotes for internet marketing”
By creating sales messages out of the words your Target Profile used, your sales messages will attract more of the same.
The interview gives you another valuable nugget.
Find out where to promote your business
Say you find out your Target Profile has a passion for local food and likes to attend food festivals.
This might prompt you to connect with food festival organisers on social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook, so that you can network with them and their followers. That way you may find new customers.
It feels uncomfortable asking someone for an interview
If you choose well, your customer will be flattered to be asked.
Think about it from their point of view. You’re showing you value their input. You demonstrate your own desire to improve your business. And anyway, who doesn’t like to be taken out for coffee and cake or a drink?
In The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen used her remaining arrows to devastating effect, because each time she aimed straight at her target.
Get in touch with your favourite customer right now and ask if you can meet them to get their input on your business. Armed with a target profile, you can create much more targeted sales messages.
P.S. Prefer to outsource your target profile interview?
I can set up and carry out the interview and provide you with a digital audio recording. Ask me for a quote