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Know Thy Audience

by ‎04-23-2010 07:59 AM - edited ‎04-25-2010 12:52 PM

After lunch with a friend the other day, we decided to stop at a new frozen yogurt shop next door. When we walked toward the door there was a young employee outside trying to get customers to come in:  “Want to try some frozen yogurt ladies?” “Sure!” we exclaim (no need to twist my arm to go into any establishment that sells anything resembling frozen sugar and cream).

There was another gentleman dressed in shorts and a t-shirt who, I think, was the owner. He first said to us, “Ladies, you can sample any flavor you want before you fill up your cup. It’s fat free…all of our yogurt is fat free.”  [Ringing any bells with Seinfeld fans?] For the next ten awkward minutes he kept aggressively pushing samples and telling us it was fat free. We bought our yogurt, sat down, and noticed he was saying this pitch to other ladies who walked in.

I started thinking about how his sales pitch was a little offensive—especially when I saw a few ladies walk in, get the pitch, and then walk out. Even if your product is fat free, the last thing you want to say to some women is that it’s actually fat free. We may secretly want it to be fat free, but we don’t want you to tell us we need something that is fat free.  “Healthy” or “deliciously healthy” might have been a better lead in for me and the other female patrons.

Making a first impression on your customer can make all the difference in the world. Whether you’re giving a sales pitch or writing messaging for a brochure or Web site, your first message is vital to building and keeping that relationship.

A good sales pitch or positioning statement addresses the customer’s pain point and clearly states your product’s value proposition in a succinct, meaningful, and irrefutable way.  In the case of a sales pitch or brand statement, if you can uncover your prospects’ pain points before you have contact with them, you can more effectively speak to their needs and provide a more directed message. Tom Falk, business development manager at Infor Global Solutions, says “I would lead with either value or quality...or both. People are really sensitive to either price now or focused on quality (organic, healthy, low environment impact, etc.).”

In the case of the yogurt shop, my pain point wasn’t that I needed something fat free. The owner assumed that about me because of my gender. How well do you know your audience? Do you change your messages based on your buyer—especially if you have multiple buyers?

 “Knowing your audience is crucial in assessing your customer’s needs and collaborating on the best solution/product for them.  Providing information that is valuable, succinct, and timely to your customer is so important in making a good first impression.”

Nikki Balin, business development account manager, WorldatWork

Message Edited by scall on 04-25-2010 12:52 PM

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