When we assume we know what our customers want and need, we distance ourselves from them. Assumptions are made without proof or evidence, yet as business owners, we somehow decide these facts are true.
Have you ever assumed something on behalf of your customers?
The trouble with making assumptions is that they can easily be wrong, which can harm the relationships you carefully build with your customers.
I often refer to stepping into your customer’s shoes in my talks and sales webinars. To build trust and empathy, you need to understand your customer’s frustrations and challenges. Although you know your own business inside and out, you can’t assume that your expert knowledge is the right fit for your customer’s challenges.
There is one area where you make what some may call assumptions, but this will be very educated and researched information. That being the work you do on ideal customer. One area I talk about in my book and in coaching is creating the hell and heaven of your ideal customer. But the strength of this assumption is that you are creating a model of your ideal person to work with so you can create the emotions around how they feel right now and how they will feel once you have worked with them. If you didn’t then sense check these emotions with your audience through conversation and questioning, then you could call these assumptions.
Let’s look at some areas where you may use assumptions to guide your business decisions:
Social media marketing and insights
There are so many layers to decision-making; as business owners, you are only present for a small portion of that. You ‘assume’ that the marketing data you collect gives you the whole picture, but that could not be further from the truth.
Your social media data can only tell you the platforms your customers prefer to use, the time they are active, and what they engage with online. You must analyse this data to provide products or services you believe your ideal customers need – but it’s not a true reflection. The information does not give you specifics you can use to make informed decisions; it only gives you part of the puzzle.
Fully understanding your customer cuts through the assumptions and allows you to operate on a grounded basis by offering the right products or services. This is human connection.
The emotional response a customer has when they are happy to buy from you and ‘feel good’ about their purchase is followed closely by logic. This is the psychology of sales; at this stage, you, as the salesperson, can talk about price, benefits, and specifics. However, during this process, the customer will be working through their most important decision – whether they trust you. They certainly won’t assume they can trust you – they’ll want proof!
The language you use on your marketing materials and social media platforms can also impact your business and brand. Where it is dangerous for a business owner to assume they understand what a customer wants, it is also possible for a customer to assume they know what you offer.
Be clear and concise with your wording to eliminate any assumptions. Think about the impression you are giving with your business copy, blogs, and social media posts.
Best selling products or services
You may have heard me talk about the importance of the customer journey. In my own business, I offer an easy one-click service to book a virtual cuppa to make working with me as simple as possible. However, the advantage of online appointment systems or virtual sales platforms can make business owners assume that certain products or services are more popular than others.
For example, I might notice that my Express 30 Sessions are selling better than my 90-Minute Breakthrough Sessions. I could assume that my customers want this service above all else and begin to market this exclusively. However, what if the only reason people aren’t booking my 90-minute session is that they can’t find a suitable time/date on my calendar? Instead of getting in touch to see if I offer alternative times, the customer will assume I’m not available and opt for an alternative service, or worse, not buy!
What is your best selling product or service? Can you find evidence that this is selling well because of the value it offers rather than it being the only thing left on the shelf?
Remember, assumptions work both ways. You may assume you know everything about your customer, and your customer may assume they know what they need to know about you and your business. Both are dangerous and the key is human conversation. It’s good to talk!
How does perception differ from assumption in business?
First of all, what is perception? This is when your customer is aware of what you do and understands how you can help them.
As a business owner, you will also use your perception regularly. For example, you may run a coaching business where you recognise that a technique isn’t working for your client and need to use an alternative method. You have understood the needs of your customer.
Stepping into your customer’s shoes means seeing your business as they see it. This is the big know, like, and trust factor. We mentioned earlier about your customer not assuming they can trust you but needing proof that they can. A customer’s perception of you is a massive influence in building customer loyalty and trust.
How do you make your customer feel? Explore how you can be a positive role model for your audience.
By focusing your efforts on positivity, storytelling, and authenticity, you will influence your customer’s perceptions and change their assumptions.
Suddenly you will become memorable as the one who was interested in their customer and wanted to understand where they are right now and what pains they believe they have. How lovely and refreshing for your customers.
What can you do to understand more about assumption and perception?
If you want to find out more about how you might assume you know what your customer needs schedule a virtual cuppa with me and we can discuss how I can help you.
“Jules is all about doing it right! Right education, right training, right attitude, right outcomes for all! If you want to do it right, speak to Jules White.” Asvin Chauhan, CEO Pharma Wealth
Alternatively, you can join my Sales Academy and build on everything you’ve learned in this post to create success in your business and deliver an unparalleled sales experience. My article, 4 Reasons Why Joining a Membership Will Help Your Business Grow, gives you more information.
“I love Jules. She is a wonderful, warm, funny and talented lady. She straight away got to the heart of my business and to the crux of my sales anxieties. After a very short time I felt excited about sales rather than fearful, and I left our session with techniques, tools, an approach and confidence that I had not walked in with. I straight away put her advice into practice and have immediately seen results. I’m so looking forward to spending more time with Jules and to smashing my goals under her guidance.” – Susie Lodge – The Wiki Mama – CEO & Founder – Wiki Places For Kids
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