Surveys and Polls. Yes but the Proof is in the Bottom Line!
By Talmar Anderson
Understanding what needs and results your market will be moved to purchase can be a changing target. Specific review and checking in with your customers and prospects is always a great step as a focused effort ( at LEAST annually). Technology changes accessibility to solutions, economic swings can inspire more or less spending and innovation can change an entire industry. (VHS anyone? I still say “tape” to digitally record anything!) If you have been following the Talmar It Up blog or worked with me in any way, I hope you have heard me say, “Sell what your audience wants to buy instead of what YOU want to sell”. The idea is that some business owners will be convinced that a product or service is what their target market really wants or needs. “Really. They need this.” During these conversations, I love to get it straight from the “horse’s” mouth. There are a few ways to do this…let’s check it out.
Surveys and polls are a great a way to reach out and create a separate conversation opportunity outside of the in the moment service or purchase. Maybe you have a system that delivers the survey to the clients at the end of the engagement or perhaps you just want to do a focused assessment of a general concept. How is one solution working for the market?
Even if you regularly collect this data, a big picture overview with an eye to the next 12 months can be hugely beneficial. These efforts can start internally but may need to include research for a larger market not just your clients. However, don’t let this stop you. At least start with your current contacts, prospects and clients to gather data.
During these surveys pick 3-5 questions that are targeted at a certain product or service satisfaction level. If you try to capture too much at once, your few willing participants will get interrupted, frustrated or lose interest and you will receive far fewer responses. Look at interaction on the value or benefits your company’s solutions offer to current client pain points. If your company offers more than one solution, you can ask them to rank their preferred product or solution. Regardless of how you structure your surveys remember this is just a sampling of the views of a few within your market. Certainly, there is value here but it is a limited perspective.
A poll is a quick and focused way to lead your market to respond to one specific question. This single question with multiple choice answers allow you to lead and limit choices. As we know, there is usually one person who will choose ‘None of the Above” because they feel the choices do not perfectly fit their way of thinking. You can consider allowing “Other” as a choice with a write in field. Some innovative and clever ideas can come in this way but it can dilute the focus if you are trying to understand how your offering fits with your thought out alternatives in the pol question.
If you are choosing this time to understand what your market wants from you…I would also consider talking to their wallets! Let’s do a 3-6 month review of YOUR company.
If you are trying to decide where to focus your next marketing effort or which product service to be promoting, make sure to go back to your numbers. What has ACTUALLY resulted in revenue for your company? Is anything trending up? This can be enlightening and get you ahead of either a growing need. Take the time to understand why these customers purchased because you have readily available access. What you have sold over the last few months IS what your market wanted.
Asking you clients, prospects and target market what they need and want to buy is a regular part of any business looking to have longevity. Very few companies sell exactly the same item, exactly the same way 5, 10 or 20 years down the line. Certainly, more than a few companies that have kept the nose to the grind stone and just kept pounding out the products have been run out of business.
By asking we can gain insight, inspiration and validation for our company and its services. This can also uncover a new opportunity or segment of your target market to access. Growth, my friends, is often on the other side of an ask. The most successful entrepreneurs and business owners LOVE a good question! Now GO! Grow.
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