Tuesday, February 11, 2014

How can you figure out where to find new buyers for your products?

How to find your new customers?
It happens very often that the simplest of concepts are the most difficult to explain or are those which people find more difficult to understand, or a combination of both.

And one of them is "how can I figure where to find new buyers for my product", a problem that gives the title to my post today.

And although we’ve already talked about it a few times before, and also about the need  to segment your market, to not be focused in selling to the whole world, to clearly identify who the buyer for your product is and what places he uses to hangout more frequently, I still meet with people who ask me:

"But how do I find buyers for my products?"

So let’s start from the very beginning: Do you really know what product you sell?

And although it might seem like I'm kidding, I'm really not. Often the problem starts right here: you haven’t clearly defined what is it that you sell, what is the core business of your company, for which needs you’re providing solutions for. In a nutshell, you haven’t identified your product with absolute clarity.

Why the problems start at this point? Because if you're not sure about what you’re selling, then you will hardly know who is the kind of people who is your “most likely buyer”, which in marketing is called "potential buyer"

Every product on the market has a “potential buyer”

Whether that "potential buyer" is a large group made ​​up of millions of people, or just a handful, each and every product has its “potential buyer”

Two key questions you should ask yourself: What do I really sell and who is more likely to pay for it?

And once you've given specific, objective and understandable answer to these two questions, then you can move on to the third one, which "supposedly" is the hardest one: Where and how can I find my "potential buyers" then?

And to illustrate the point, let me share with you a situation I experienced last weekend. Maybe I haven’t told you, but we now have a pet at home. She is called "Paris" and is a 16 months old doggie, an "almost-fox-terrier" (almost because we don’t have her pedigree). My children and I gave it to mom as her birthday’s present .

My wife, as “the pet’s owner”, was searching online for a place she was told we could go with the dog and let her (the dog) hang around, and she found a special park in a nearby city, exclusively designed for dogs.

Yes, just for dogs. It’s a place where you take your pet, you take away the leash and let her run freely throughout the park, which by the way is totally fenced and protected so the dogs can’t just run away and never come back.

The story I want to share is that, while being at the park we stopped in front of the bulletin board located just at the entrance, and found a flyer advertising the: "Furminator. Professional brush for dogs and cats. Removes 90% of dead hair."

And there we were, my wife and I, right in front of the board reading this flyer, and becoming interested in a product that, if it isn’t because we have a new pet and went to such place, we wouldn’t be interested at all and probably wouldn’t be something we would have searched for on the Internet. I’m 100% positive on that.

So, what’s the process to find your “potential buyers”. What should you do?

And I 'll explain it starting from the story above:

  • The company clearly identified their product: "Furminator. A professional brush for dogs and cats. Eliminates 90% of the dead hair." Note it is not a brush for squirrels, rabbits or parrots. It's for "dogs and cats", nothing else. What a good example of product segmentation.
  • Who would be interested in buying a "professional brush for cats and dogs"?: Well, obviously a person who, first of all, owns a dog or a cat, and cherishes and takes good care of them. But you must have either a dog or a cat. That is mandatory.
  • What do people who own dogs or cats do? Since they cherish their pets so much and treat them well, they tend to buy good pet’s food, accessories, toys and they are also more likely to go to PLACES LIKE THIS ONE, where (in this case only dogs) their pets can run free and at ease.
  • What did the company that wanted to sell the "Furminator. Professional brush for dogs and cats which eliminates 90 % of dead hair" do? They put themselves in their potential buyers’ shoes and also found this place, and then they put their advertising directly in front of the eyes of people who were clearly potential buyers of their product.

You see how simple it is? Their advertising message right in front of potential buyers.

The same process applies to all products and services.

  • You must clearly identify what the product is, what it does, what it doesn’t and what needs it meets, which problems it solves.
  • Then you must identify, with the same or perhaps more clarity, who would pay for something like that, who the potential buyer for your product is.
  • Then analyse, with as much detail as possible, what characteristics define this “potential buyer”: which groups and associations do they join, what’s their lifestyle (it’s not the same thing to sell a yacht, than a boat ride for three), what use they give to the product, and all relevant information that can help identify where they can be found more easily.

Then go after them, find them, engage and build relationships with them, right at the places they are more likely to be effectively impacted by your product and its features.

It’s vital for your business to know who your “potential buyer” is.

I remember reading an article a while ago about the fact that every human being plays different roles in their daily lives and, while playing each role, we would be more or less interested in certain types of products or services.

For instance I offer consultation on these areas of business management and marketing, but I'm also a father of two little angels whom I love dearly and also enjoy a lot taking long rides on my bike.

And these three features alone (among many others for sure) define me as a "potential buyer" for a wide variety of products and services, at different times.

If I were not a parent, I would definitely behave differently as a consumer. It would be the same if I did not like so much riding my bike. Can you see the main idea behind all of this?

That is why, to know exactly where to find new buyers for your product, you must do this exercise and ask yourself.

  • What do I sell?
  • Who is most likely to pay for it?
  • What kind of a lifestyle do they have?
  • What do they do and where are they more likely to hang out?

And then put all your promotional efforts on those places. You won’t miss.

You'll soon notice that, by doing things this way, your results will start to be much better and the return you get for the money you are investing on advertigins will start to increase.

Related post in this blog:
Segmentation: One product for all? Or all for one?

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