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Learn how to manage your business thinking like your customers

Published by Jesús A. Lacoste on June 12, 2018

customer centric

With the digital revolution, now is the customer who is at the center of any successful strategy. Many sellers believe that they should always think about the customer and nothing else. However, that is not entirely true.

The important thing is not to think of the customer, but to think like the customer.

The difference is subtle, but it implies a significant change in your strategy.

If you only think about the customer, you are just thinking about the customer’s pocket.

If you think like the customer, you can put yourself in his shoes, understanding what he needs or is asking for and consequently offer him real solutions, tailored to what the customer needs.

Only if we can think like our client, can we really generate great products, services, and experiences?

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· CEO

Everyone who is part of the company, no matter the role of each person, should understand how to think like the customers who are the most critical asset of any company.

And this is only possible if everyone can see this client as a person, not as “living money” or someone who is just buying.

By knowing that on the other side of the company there is a person interested in helping him, the customer can be sure that he  will not have problems during the sales process, which will help the company  to maintain a subsequent relationship with him.

We should never forget that when we are doing business, we are talking to people.

People who have feelings, emotions, problems, needs, exactly like ourselves. If we interact with people, it will be easier to think like them.

And if we think like them, we can create real products and services, with real demand, therefore meeting real needs.

pensar en el cliente

· There is no need to think only about the customer; you need to feel like the customer

To achieve that, it is essential to show EMPATIA.

Empathic skills can be a matter of talent, but you can also train yourself to develop empathy.

Here are some keys that will help you develop your skills and think like your customer:

  1. Listen with an open mind and without prejudice.

Be respectful to others.

  1. Pay attention and show interest

Always listen to what other people are saying, you can’t guess their feelings without talking to them.

  1. Don’t interrupt while someone is talking to you

And avoid becoming an expert dedicated to giving advice, your role is to try to feel what the other person is feeling.

  1. Learn to recognize

You should know how to recognize and reward the qualities and accomplishments of others.

That will contribute not only to promoting your capabilities, but when you show your customers that you are happy with their achievements, they will see that you want them to succeed.

You don’t have to try to sell anything to your customers; you should try to build a lasting relationship with them.

The sale comes later.

It is the result of gaining their trust.

And not vice versa: a relationship based on trust will mean a Sale.

A long-lasting relationship will mean even more sales.

Pensar como el cliente genera clientes fieles

· Think like your customers to have loyal customers

There is a big difference between doing business repeatedly and building loyalty.

You know you are doing business repeatedly when people buy your products several times.

Fidelity is when people are willing to reject a product or service, or pay more to continue working with you.

Loyal consumers often don’t even bother to ask about other alternatives.

However, that is not easily obtained. But in some cases, it is possible to do business several times with the same customer.

To do business continuously, companies use diferente techniques (low prices, discounts, 2 × 1, avoid a punishment, awards, as well as many other strategies)

For transactions that occur on average once, the rewards are the best way to trigger the desired behavior.

For example, if your cat gets lost and you offer a reward for the person who finds it, you don’t need to have a lasting relationship with the person who found it, you just want your cat back.

But in any circumstance where a person or an organization wants to make more than one transaction, if what you expect is a faithful and enduring relationship, manipulation will not help.

The danger of manipulation techniques is that they work.

And for this reason, it has become the norm practiced by the vast majority of the companies.

Every time that to reach our goals, we use a reduction technique, such as a promotion, a novelty or a message based on fear or that appeals to the aspirations of customers, our company will become weaker.

The alternative to manipulation to attract new customers and win their loyalty is to be creative and inspire them.

And to inspire them you have to know HOW they think, what is their pain point.

Only then can you build strong relationships with loyal and satisfied customers.

So you don’t have to keep trying to sell.

You will not need to sell anything. Your customers will come back to buy again and again.

Los clientes buscan soluciones para su problemas, no comprar productos

· Customers look for solutions to their problems; they don’t just want to buy a product

You have to think and feel like them.

People are looking for solutions.

They have problems, they have needs, and so they look for ways to Solve them.

You don’t get up in the morning thinking of something like “Today I wish someone would try to sell me something.”

However, the traditional marketing model was based on the sale of products, not in solving users’ demands.

This was the case for a long time because the strategic model was focused on the product as the primary link, considering the customer as a target, someone who would give money to the company in exchange  for a product.

Now, with the emergence of new technologies, the panorama is being changed: focus must be placed on the client.

No one likes to be a target, to be approached by a person who just wants to sell; What we like is to buy.

And we buy what we are looking for, for different needs (real or fictitious) that we feel.

So we must change the way we deal with our potential customers: Instead of selling our products, we need to sell the solution to the needs of a group of people.

And here’s the key to this new way of understanding marketing: in knowing what the needs of our customers are, what are their pain points.

Because you will need to use this information to propose the best way to eliminate or reduce their pain points.

It is very likely that the client knows his weaknesses well, so your task will be to identify them and from that moment, propose the corresponding solutions.

At other times, it may happen that the client is not aware of his needs; he may not know what his weaknesses are.

In this case, the goal will be to guide the person to show him the problems his company might face, explaining aspects that could compromise his stability or future.

To achieve that, you should:

Aprende a generar negocio pensando como tus clientes

· Instead of selling products, start selling solutions.

Commercial communication has historically been based on the interruption to sell different products.

This communication model is obsolete.

Companies should start to solve problems, to provide the information their customers are looking for, to create their messages in function of what is relevant to people, not just the brand.

Think like your customers, not just about them. People are looking for solutions.

· Talk about the history of people, not the brand.

You have to move the focus from the brand to the consumer.

It’s not about telling stories about the brand and the business; we have to tell stories about people.

In a time of total transparency and hyper-informed clients, the lack of authenticity in messages denotes a suspicious commercial purpose.

We should not just try to sell.

· Create conversations with people, not mass communication

The advantage of mass communication is its range because it is possible to send a message to a huge number of people, but the downside is that it is impersonal and irrelevant (the same message will not  work or be understood equally by all people)

However, with online advertising, email marketing, and social networks, it is possible to talk to the public based on their profiles of attitudes, preferences, and interests.

This type of communication is based on who they are, what they do, what they like, what they are looking for, what they believe and with whom they interact.

This kind of interaction is what people demand today.

· Stop using storytelling and start working with storydoing

You should not just send messages about the quality of the materials of the products you sell; it is more essential and didactic to show that with facts.

We believe in what we see, in facts, not in words.

That is why it is more efficient to sell concrete things by giving samples, we could offer it for free for 30 days, as an attractive trial.

· In the midst of the digital revolution

Adopting a new vision and THINKING LIKE THE CUSTOMER is vital to ensure the viability of a new business.

When the differentiation between competitors is decreasing exponentially in most of the products, it is vital to offer a unique experience to every customer and change the focus of your business strategy,  to start putting yourself in the place of your customers.

Only then will it be possible to achieve great media and financial success.

Jesús A. Lacoste

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