Continued from page 1
(1) Ask them for feedback on your newsletter or ezine content.
(2) What topics are they interested in learning more about?
(3) How can you help them to be more successful, happier, etc?
(4) Find out what they want and who they are
And in all three cases — Clients/Customers, Rejecters, and Prospects — if it seems appropriate, ask for a little information about who they are. Age, gender, profession, where they live, how much they typically spend in your product or service category.
This will help you get a better understanding of your target audience and you'll know if you're attracting kind of people you thought would be interested in your product or service. And if you need to change your marketing strategy to reach a different audience, or to perhaps change your target audience.
It will help you better serve them
The more you can learn about your prospects and customers better you can serve them. And more effectively you can market to them.
You may be in for a surprise
I've had clients tell me they thought they knew why people were buying from them until they asked. And what they heard surprised and shocked them.
Very often what you hear can help you zero-in on a Unique Selling Proposition that you never thought of. And because it came from mouths of your customers you know it is compelling and effective.
Don't change everything based on a few opinions
My only caution is if you only have a handful of customers or prospects to survey, don't make any major changes or decisions until you are able to validate your findings among a larger group of people.
Or at least test any changes you do make before making a final decision to overhaul your entire business or marketing plan. Common sense is rule here. Just use your own good judgment and don't over-react to comments made by only a handful of people.
You can ask in a number or ways - Choose what works for you
There are any number of ways to collect research from your prospects and customers. You can telephone them, email them, mail them a written questionnaire, or you can meet with them in a group (called a focus group) to collect their opinions.
You can be as formal or informal as you feel comfortable. Typically larger number of clients you survey, more formal survey. If you have only a handful of people to talk to, simply pick up phone and call them.
Don't be afraid to ASK
Don't be afraid to ask for opinions on your products or services or how you can serve your clients better. What you find out could be extremely valuable in helping you to build and grow your business.
Don't forget to say "thank you"
You will also want to consider offering an incentive to encourage your prospects and clients to participate or respond. A bonus, such as a special report, or a discount on a future purchase is a nice way to show your appreciation for them taking time to respond to your survey.
(C) 2005 Debbie LaChusa
20-year marketing veteran Debbie LaChusa created The 10stepmarketing System to help small business owners and solo-preneurs successfully market their business, themselves without spending a fortune on marketing. To learn more about this simple, step-by-step program and to sign up for her FREE audio class and FREE weekly ezine featuring how-to articles, tips and advice, visit http://www.10stepmarketing.com