“SO, WHAT DO YOU DO?”
If a potential customer asks you to describe what you do, what do you say?
In my experience, the usual response is a literal one:
- “We’re IT developers. We build web-enabled retail systems.”
- “I’m a builder. I renovate old houses.”
- “We’re a recruitment company. We source contractors.”
This is all very well; it’s part of the answer, but it’s not actually what your potential customer wanted to hear when he or she asked what you do. I think there’s a better way to get your message across – verbally and on your website. It’s a case of understanding where your customer is coming from and answering the right question.
What customers are really asking
What customers ask and what they really want to hear are often two different things entirely. When they ask you what you do or look at your company website, what they’re really trying to ascertain is:
“Are you someone who can help me solve my particular problem?”
If you just give a factual explanation of your services, you’re not really answering their question. As David Meerman Scott says in his recent blog article on www.webinknow.com:
“Customers don’t care about you and your products or services. They care about themselves and their problems.”
You need to spell out what’s in it for them. You need to need to tell them what kind of issues you solve and for who. You need to show them that you solve problems for people just like them.
5 questions to help you
So, if you’re setting up a new business or redefining an existing one, here are 5 crucial questions you need to answer to get your customers’ full attention:
- CUSTOMERS: Who do you work for? What kind of people benefit from your help? Where are they based?
- ISSUES: What kind of issues or challenges do you solve for your customers? When should they pick up the phone to you?
- SERVICES: How do you help them? What kind of services do you offer? What’s your process?
- BENEFITS: What kind of results or outcome can they expect from working with you? How can you prove this?
- MISSION: Why are you in business? What difference did you set out to make? What’s your crusade?
Whether you’re writing your company website or describing what you do in person, remember to answer these questions. Don’t just talk about what your products and services do. Tell your customers how you solve their problems. This is what they really want to hear.
A formula to work to
Further reading: Robert Middleton of Action Plan Marketing is particularly good on the subject of describing what you do. See www.actionplan.com. He calls this your ‘Audio Logo’. Here’s his formula:
What do you do?
We work with (this target market) ……….
Who (have this issue or challenge) ……….
How do you do that?
We help them get (ultimate outcome) ……….
Tell me more
A good example is (success story) ……….