Wouldn’t it be great if you knew what your customers and prospects wanted, why they wanted it, when they wanted it, and even what they expected to pay? Sure it would! It would give you a treasure trove of marketing intelligence that you could use to attract new customers and satisfy your current ones.
Well you could hire a spy I suppose, but I don’t know where you would find one. So without going to the expense (I don’t think they come cheaply) and effort of hiring an international spy, how do you get that information? Simple, you just ask.
A New Jersey Real Estate brokerage sent a questionnaire to 75,000 households asking about their plans for moving in the future: Are they planning to move soon? When? Where will they be moving? What do they want in a new home?
Within a month they received future home buying (and selling) plans of about 1500 households. They have a huge lead on their competition to attract listings to sell homes and prospects who want to buy homes. All they did was ask the questions.
Banks and credit unions know when installment loans (example – car loans) will be paid off. Many people will purchase their next car soon after they pay off the old one. If they asked their customers their automotive purchasing plans they could dangle a promotion in front of them to renew those loans.
The knowledge that you have, or can get, just by asking your customers can give you a head start on your competition and, in many cases, your customers will give you the answers… if you have created a trusted relationship with them and you ask in a manner that respects that relationship.
Business is there for those who have earned their customer’s trust. Those who ask and search for marketing intelligence, and who then promote properly to those who respond, will find that selling is so much easier if you find those who want or need and all you have to do is ask. Just work at determining who can you ask. What can you ask them? How can you ask them? What form will your communications take? How often to ask them? What to say?
It does take planning and some experimentation, but it is not hard. It just takes getting over your shyness so figure it out and do it.