What your customers really want to buy


She was already running late for dance lessons. And it took her another excruciating ten minutes to find her daughter’s tap shoes under her pile of stuffed bears. She felt a rumble in her tummy as she grabbed her keys and raced out the door, but there was no time to eat.

She delicately teetered her speedometer a safe five miles over the speed limit and begged that her daughter’s blatant tardiness wouldn’t turn off the teacher. It was her very first class, and her daughter had been begging for lessons for months.

She pulled into the lot of the dance studio just as her stomach reminded her again that her dinner was far overdue. As she glanced up, something in the parking lot caught her eye. Adjacent to the dance studio stood a take out restaurant boasting fresh salads, wraps, and smoothies.

She planned to make sure her daughter got settled into class, and despite her teacher’s certain annoyance, she’d skip out for five minutes to inhale something from next door.

How to figure out what your customers really want to buy:

Much like the woman depicted in this story, your customers are often prepared to buy because of something other than the product you sell.

In the case of this story, the merchant sold ready-made food. But on this particular night, the product (the food) was sold because she was rushed and her stomach wouldn’t leave her alone. Not because she desired that particular kind of food nor did she even seek it out.

If this fictitious food shop owner had studied her “why”, she might have rightfully determined that it had nothing to do with the product she sold. But instead had much more to do with why people bought.

This particular “why” would drive some other business decisions, including where to locate the establishment (next to a business where harried, overburdened customers often frequent), which products to offer (ready-made edibles), and how to communicate her wares (with signs indicating that quick meals are ready to go).

For her, making the sale isn’t about the salad, the wrap, or the smoothies.

It’s everything that surrounds the products that truly matters to her customers. And these other cursory things are what makes her ready to buy.

What are the elements that surround your products or service, making your customers eager to buy?

Need help figuring that out?

Magnetic Business Masterclass, my online course for positioning your brand, marketing your business, and building a waiting list of customers, opens on July 14th. Be sure to hear when doors open by signing up for the announcement emails here.


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