Two Questions To Improve Your Strategy

Two Questions To Improve Your Strategy

It’s easy to overcomplicate the process of selling to our customers.

We get bogged down trying to come up with creative content ideas, outreach strategies, or ways to highlight our features and benefits over the competition. 

But sometimes it’s good to take a step back and ask the big questions.

These are the types of questions that help you clarify your message and truly sell to your prospects in an authentic way. 

In this week’s Sell with Social, we zoom out and ask two important questions. These will help improve your digital strategy and entire offer.

Selling Products vs Solving Problems

While many businesses focus on the features and benefits of their products, the most successful ones understand that true engagement comes from addressing real-world problems. 

This approach shifts the narrative from what you're selling to why it matters to your customer.

Embracing this problem-solving perspective sets the stage for a deeper understanding of your audience. It prompts two essential questions that form the backbone of any effective content strategy: 1) What does your customer want? 2) And what is stopping them from getting it? 

By answering these questions, you're not just offering a product; you're providing a solution that fits into the narrative of your customer's lives.

Now, let’s dive into each question. 

Question 1 - What Does Your Customer Want?

Every customer interaction is driven by an underlying desire or need. 

At the core, every person is seeking their own “happy ending”—a resolution to a business or personal challenge that moves them from their current state to their desired state. 

This desired state is not just a product or a service; it's the outcome that using the product or service will provide. Whether they seek to increase efficiency, reduce stress, or achieve financial success, understanding this desired end state is crucial for crafting messages and solutions that resonate deeply with your audience.

Here are some examples:

  1. Small Business Owners Looking for Efficiency Tools: Consider a small business owner overwhelmed by administrative tasks. Their desired state is not just to purchase project management software; it’s to find a solution that brings order to chaos, saves time, and allows them to focus more on growing their business than managing minutiae.
  2. Homeowners Searching for Home Security Solutions: A homeowner worried about safety isn’t just looking for a security camera or an alarm system; they aspire to live in a home where they feel secure and protected. Their desired state is peace of mind, knowing their family and possessions are safe.

To effectively determine and meet your customers' desired states, consider the following strategies:

  • Deep Dive Into Customer Personas: Develop detailed customer personas that go beyond demographics and psychographics. Understand their fears, hopes, daily challenges, and long-term goals.
  • Jobs to Be Done: Using the Jobs to Be Done (JTBD) framework to answer the question of what customers want involves identifying the core tasks or "jobs" that customers need to accomplish with your product or service. 
  • Analyze Discovery Calls and Reviews: Regularly review discovery call notes, support tickets, and online reviews to learn what customers appreciate most about your product or service and what outcomes drive their satisfaction.

By focusing on these areas, you can craft content and develop products that align closely with what your customers truly want, effectively guiding them to their desired happy ending.

Question 2 - What’s stopping them from getting it? 

Every customer has hurdles that impede their progress towards achieving their goal or desired state.

Recognizing these barriers is crucial as it allows you to better guide your customers through their challenges. 

Understanding the nature of these obstacles is not just about providing solutions; it's about first thoroughly grasping what exactly these barriers are, which can vary widely from financial constraints, lack of understanding, fear of change, to misinformation.

Here are some examples:

  1. Entrepreneurs Overwhelmed by Digital Marketing Options: Many entrepreneurs recognize the necessity of digital marketing but are stalled by the vast array of tools and strategies. They might be unsure about where to invest their time and money, fearing ineffective spending.
  2. First-time Home Buyers and the Real Estate Maze: The complexity of the real estate process can be daunting for first-time buyers. From understanding mortgage qualifications to finding the right property, the journey is fraught with potential confusion and stress.

When considering how to answer this question, consider the following:

  • Customer Interviews and Surveys: Conduct in-depth interviews and structured surveys with current and potential customers to directly ask about their challenges and hesitations. This firsthand information is invaluable for identifying common themes and specific stumbling blocks in the customer journey.
  • Social Listening and Online Forums: Monitor social media platforms and online forums where your target audience congregates. Pay attention to their discussions; what frustrations or confusions are frequently mentioned? This can provide a real-time feed of customer concerns and barriers.
  • Journey Mapping Sessions: Engage with a group of customers to map out their entire journey of discovering, evaluating, and purchasing your product. This exercise can reveal obstacles at points you might not have considered significant.

Employing these strategies can help you gain a comprehensive understanding of what stops your customers from achieving their desired outcomes. This knowledge is essential for crafting targeted solutions that directly address those barriers, making it easier for your customers to succeed.

Simplifying Your Strategy with These Two Key Questions

The essence of an effective strategy can often be distilled into these two simple, yet powerful questions: What does your customer want? And what is stopping them from getting it? 

Asking these two questions cuts through the noise and complexity by bringing the focus back to the customer’s core desires and needs. 

By continually circling back to these questions, you ensure that every piece of content, every marketing campaign, and every product feature is crafted with clarity.

Ultimately, these questions help you build a stronger connection with your customers. They are not just about selling a product or a service; they are about understanding and addressing your customer’s journey toward their desired solution. 

Unsurprisingly, for this week’s action items, I want you to ask yourself these two critical questions. 

You can do this by yourself, or you can use this as a brainstorming activity with your team. Either way, the key is to take a step back and start to address your strategy from your customer’s perspective. 

Here are action items for you to do this week:

  • Discover What Your Customer Wants: Spend time this week conducting customer interviews or reviewing discovery meeting notes with the goal of uncovering the "jobs" your customers are hiring your product or service to do. Compile the responses to clearly understand the primary outcomes your customers are seeking.
  • Identify What's Stopping Your Customer: Analyze customer feedback, support tickets, and online reviews to identify common barriers that prevent customers from achieving their desired outcomes. Focus on patterns or recurring themes that indicate significant obstacles in their journey.
  • Discuss and Strategize: Take the notes that you gather from these two questions and start to discuss how you are addressing them in your strategy. Are you talking about your customer’s desired state? Are you addressing their roadblocks and challenges? Review your content with a fresh perspective.

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