Your Survivor’s Guide to Market Research


What is the value of your customer? Is it just the money they give you in exchange for your product or service?

If you answered ‘yes’ to this mini-survey, please see below.

Stop asking yourself how you can get your life-changing message to the masses and start getting to know the masses. That is how you create a successful business. And that is also the secret to longevity.

Intimacy is a powerful word and seldom used by entrepreneurs in relation to their business. But intimacy is what separates the fools from the fabulously successful.

Don’t be a fool.

Get to know your customer and they will pay you back for your efforts.

This Survivor’s Guide includes the most important ways to talk to your customers, listen to your customers and get the right information from your customers.

Read on, grasshopper.

Why Market Intimacy is So Important

20% of businesses fail within their first 5 years. There are a number of reasons for this. One of the biggest is that the entrepreneur hasn’t taken the time to ask, listen, synthesize and segment the information they get from their market.

Creating a long and intimate relationship with your market is the secret sauce of success, survival and endurance.

There are three areas of focus for every entrepreneur:

  1. Your Message – what you say to your market
  2. Your Media – how you get your message to your market
  3. Your Market – knowing who you are speaking to

Out of those three the market is the most neglected when it comes to establishing a healthy relationship. Sometimes entrepreneurs don’t even start a relationship with their market until something goes wrong.

When a customer isn’t happy you will find out one way or another. They will complain directly to you; they will gossip to their friends about what a bad product or experience they had or at the very worst, they will ignore you and move on.

What inoculates you against any of these scenarios is getting out in front and getting to know your ideal customer and your niche.

Doing this research and establishing long, intimate relationships with people is the way to stay relevant, durable and keep thriving.

Where Do You Start?

You start with your avatar or ideal customer = the type of person you sell to the most in your business.

Usually you create this template by studying the people you’ve sold to already. If you’re just starting out and you haven’t sold anything yet, use yourself as a template.

This is a living, breathing document that will change over time as your market changes. So don’t try to be perfect putting this template together because it will change a lot over the course and life of your business.

There are about 11 areas of focus when you put together your template but the 3 most important areas to start with are:

  1. Aspirations
  2. Affiliations
  3. Attributes

Aspirations –

What are their goals, their dreams, their desires? What inspires them?

Why know this?

This information will help you create products and services that help them reach their goals and dreams. You can literally keep the chocolate factory running with this information.

You can’t create products or services for people you know nothing about, right?

This information is valuable for what to penetrate your market with.

Affiliations –

Who does your ideal customer hang out with? What are their hobbies? What do they watch on TV? What do they like to read?

Do they spend time on YouTube? Are they DIYers or do they need a little hand- holding?

This information is valuable for where to penetrate your market.

Attributes –

What’s the average age of your ideal customer? Is he or she married? What is their gender? Do they have kids? What do they do for a living?

I work mainly with coaches, trainers and speakers. These types of entrepreneurs are always looking for ways to connect with their ideal customer. Finding common ground allows you to make connections that can last a long time.

This personal information allows you to figure out how to talk to your market.

There’s another way specific piece of information you want to find out when you’re getting to know your ideal customer.

Pain Points.

What are their fears? What are their challenges? This is invaluable information. It lets you connect with your market, know how to speak with them and create products that help them overcome their fears and challenges.

There are actually 11 distinct areas of information to collect when you create your template.

You can read more about them here:

Related Post:   What People Find Most Challenging About Selling Their Product
Related Post:   3 Ways to Improve Your Market Research
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Knowing this kind of information flips a switch for your business.

You go from creating a good product to a great product.

A good product is a high-quality product few people ever hear about.

A great product is a high-quality product that gets used and that people want.

There are probably billions of products on the web and in the world now. The successful ones are the ones people actually use and that become a part of their lives.

Let’s create great products that change people’s lives because they get used.

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How To Speak To Your Market

The best way to fail as an entrepreneur is to start with your product.

It’s exciting to find a message you want to shout to the world. But that’s not what creates success. What creates success is finding a market that wants to hear what you’re saying.

For that you need to know how to speak to your market.

Your market is generally made up of 4 different personality types. And they receive information in 4 different ways. So knowing how to speak to all 4 types will increase your market penetration.

I use a specific formula when I’m speaking to my market. I speak for a living so I’ve gotten good at speaking to every personality type in the room. And you can use this formula for:

  • written copy, like a facebook post or an ad
  • one-on-one with a client or new customer
  • in a webinar or live workshop

And this formula is easy to learn and use. It goes a little something like this:

Address each area quickly and in the correct order –

  1. Describe what product or service you’re selling or advertising.
  2. Outline why the customer or client needs it.
  3. Address who the ideal buyer is and who benefits from the product with testimonials.
  4. Talk about how to use the product or service showing case studies, and detailing how people benefit.

So why does this formula work?

Because there are 4 general ways people receive information. Some people focus on what it is you’re selling.

They immediately know you’re pitching something and go right to what it is. You need to address these types of receivers first so they don’t get frustrated and shut down and leave.

Next, there are the people that immediately ask why they might need what you’re selling. Do they need it or is it a frivolous item?

Just as with the ‘what’ group, you need to address the ‘why’ immediately so this group doesn’t move on. They’re quick in deciding.

Then there’s the ‘who’ group. This group is a little more thoughtful and take their time determining who your product will benefit.

Will this personality type benefit from your product or service? hmmm… Hint: these folks love to read testimonials and case studies.

Finally, this last group hones in on how to use the product. These are people who love owner’s manuals.

They take their time dissecting a product or service in their mind to figure out how it works and if it will benefit them.

Learning to GIVE the right information to your customer in the right order is essential in learning about your ideal customer.

Market research is not just about receiving information from your market. It’s also about figuring how to speak to your ideal customer.

This is a great place to start.

So How Do You Get the Info???

How do you get all this great information from your client or customer?

You ask.

In this blog post I revealed a great story my friend Ryan Levesque told me. He was trying to sell his wife’s beautiful jewelry and was not having success. So he decided to do the most obvious (but least used) thing. He asked his list why people weren’t buying. They told him.

Earth shattering.

He didn’t pay me thousands of dollars to do what I do as a marketing consultant and what so many of my clients have done. He simply went to his market and started a discussion with them.

The gall. Can you imagine?

So how do you ask? In a word…Surveys.

There are 3 types of surveys Ryan uses strategically.

The Deep Dive

This is a one-time survey he sends to each new person on his list. They’ve either opt-in or bought a product from him and he sends them this deep-dive survey.

This advances his research of his ideal customer and increases his intimacy with that particular, new person.

These types of surveys will populate your Ideal Customer template and help you create future products and services.

And they’re full of questions about their aspirations, affiliations and attributes.

The Micro-Commitment

This is an on-going survey you’ll use again and again. It’s a short, one-question, multiple choice survey. Hence the name, micro-commitment. It’s just one, small commitment to information-sharing at a time.

The Micro-Commitment lets you stay knowledgeable about your market’s trends. Are they buying? If not, why not? What’s new? What’s important to them?

The “Do-You-Hate-Me”

“Was it something I said?”

“Did I do something wrong?”

These are all great conversation starters and ice breakers. They jump-start a discussion about what’s not working.

Say you have a product launch and you want to find out why more people aren’t buying your new product or service. You can send out a quick survey like this to get some valuable, usable info.

You can also use this approach for the people on your list who never buy. Find out why they’re there. What are their expectations of you?

Or you can use this to just stay in touch with your peeps.

Regardless of your approach, the most important thing to remember is to stay in touch. The more you stay in touch the deeper your relationship will be.

Not only will you be getting to know more about your market. You will be giving your market the opportunity to know, like and trust you.

Related Post:   What People Find Most Challenging About Selling Their Product
Related Post:   3 Ways to Improve Your Market Research
Related Post:   Don’t Sell Your Product Until You Do This

So Now What?

What do you do with all the information from all the surveys and the 4 personality types and your ideal customer template?

You synthesize it. You create categories and then you segment your list into buckets.

Btw, what did Ryan find out when he asked his market why they weren’t buying his wife’s jewelry?

That he didn’t have just one market. He had 4 markets. But he was treating it like one market. So he wasn’t addressing the needs of all 4 markets. He wasn’t being specific.

When you segment your market research you can begin to get specific. When you’re specific you can target.

When you target you are speaking to the right people at the right time about the right product.

There are many ways to segment your list. The four I use are highly targeted and effective. They are:

  • Generational Segmenting – Are they a millennial or a baby boomer?
  • Buyer Frequency Segmenting – Are they a free opt-in or a premium client?
  • Experience Level Segmenting – Are they a start-up entrepreneur or established? Are they facing challenges in their business? Likewise, are they new parents or empty-nesters?
  • Engagement Level Segmenting – do you have evangelicals singing your praises on facebook or do they only engage when you send them a survey?

Segmenting your lists this way helps you get very specific information. Getting specific allows you use your lists in creative ways.

For instance, your high-engagers are the people you can go to for beta testing and case studies before a big product launch. See how this works?

The Wrap Up

All of these strategies: your ideal customer template, the 4 buyer types, surveys and list segmenting are effective and proven ways to get to know and stay in touch with your market.

Your market isn’t a swarm of blank faces waiting for the next piece of meat you throw out.

They are living, breathing people who have dreams, goals, problems, fears, doubt and trust issues. And they’re smart. They know they’re consumers. And they know when they’re being taken advantage of and when they are respected.

The more you approach your relationships with your customers with intimacy and devotion, just like any other relationship, the more satisfying and healthy that relationship will be.

How well do you know your market? Do you know how to find the premium clients on your list? I use a targeted survey that helps me enroll premium clients directly from my list.

Click here for the 13 questions I ask EVERY applicant for my High End Programs. It’s an easy and fun process to learn… and it reduces rejection!

Are you implementing any of the strategies I shared? How’s it working out for you?  What other strategies do you use?  Click here and join the conversation >>

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