Research on a Shoestring Budget

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on March 9, 2009

The U.S. economy has hit hard times and short-term growth isn’t going to be easy for most of us business owners. While it’s tempting to cut back on your sales and marketing expenditures, this is not the time to do so. It’s critical to continue deploying strategies that get new customers in your door and keep your current customers returning. Here’s a quick and free idea to ensure your business doesn’t merely survive, but thrives, in this recession:

Profile Your Customers. Who are your most valuable customers? Can you describe them succinctly, in 50 words or less? While it’s important that you understand the products and services that you offer, it’s even more significant to understand what your customers value and why, so you can be certain you are fulfilling their needs. Don’t assume you know; ask them.

Play 10 Questions with Your Customers. Imagine that your five most important customers are sitting in a room with you. Do you know what questions you would ask them about their purchases, their needs and interests, and the factors that influence their decision-making processes? To create the profile described above, compile a list of 10 questions that will help you define their needs. Then simply pick up the phone and start calling. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the response you get from customers who relish the thought of somebody interested in understanding their specific needs…and you might even get new business.

Beth Goldstein
President
Marketing Edge Consulting Group
Boston

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