So you think your customers love your brand? Really?! Recently, I came across a motivational piece on Inc.com entitled: “People With High Emotional Intelligence Ask 3 Key Questions to Become More Likeable and Give Better Advice.” I am not usually interested in self development articles or books. However, I found these 3 questions useful to businesses if only you read them through the eyes of an entrepreneur. One may even venture to say that they are the very essence of marketing.
Ask these 3 questions if you want your customers to love your brand
Love thy customers and they will love thy brand!
Self-development isn’t my cup of tea, yet it’s one of the most popular book categories amongst the general public. It is understandable, people need advice and are in search of simple if not simplistic recipes. They need them to survive in a world which is generally perceived, not always rightly, as hostile.
When I came across that Inc.com piece, I found that I could turn it into a short bullet point list targeted at businesses and entrepreneurs.
After all, those who can ask these three questions can get their customers to love their brand better.
The piece is entitled “People With High Emotional Intelligence Ask 3 Key Questions to Become More Likeable and Give Better Advice”. Let us review these 3 questions and put them into a marketing and business context.
I have therefore hacked this list to my liking. You can read the original Inc.com article afterwards if you feel you need to become a more likeable person too.
[Businesses] like to be liked. It’s human nature: We crave connection and relationships, and we enjoy the affirmation and ego boost that results from knowing that other people enjoy being around us
So often, I come across business owners who will tell me, “I want to talk to my community.” Meaning “my customers”.
The issue though is that not all customers are part of a community. Brompton’s, Apple’s and Dyson’s customers maybe. Even that is debatable. Giff Gaff’s, that’s for sure. But most businesses’ customers aren’t forming a “community of customers”.
Number one reason is … you are not a likeable brand! It doesn’t mean your products aren’t good nor selling well. But there is no emotional bond between your customers and your brand.
Hence the three questions. Here they are.
1. “What do you think I should do?” (as a brand)
The essence of marketing is being interested in one’s customers. This doesn’t mean that product-led marketing has no future. It means that you should always ask customers how they feel, what they like and what they don’t like.
And that means being genuinely interested in what they have to say.
You do not need to carry out online surveys amongst millions of buyers. Interviewing, in depth, twelve of them will suffice and it won’t take that long.
2. “What other facts would help you to make a decision?”
People make decisions for emotional reasons all the time
The author is right. Emotion is part of the buying process. It’s also true of B2B. Truth be told, it’s probably even more true of the The B2B purchasing process is the result of a long life cycle often linked to a contract as there are many people to convince.. B2B is said to be rational and B2C emotional. More often than not it’s the other way around.
- A B2B buyer will need to be reassured. Buying expensive stuff for a business means taking a huge risk and putting one’s head on the block more often than not. The more you reassure your client, the better.
- Buying a B2B service or product isn’t always a matter of features. Most of the time it’s not at all. It’s about reassurance as mentioned above, and feeling the vendor will support you and help you
- Failure isn’t just a threat for sellers, it’s also a threat to buyers. Failing to negotiate and buy the right service at the right price could cost you money and your reputation. The buyer is as much afraid of buying than the seller (I’ve worked on both sides I can guarantee it’s the way it happens).
3. “How do you think you would feel if you decided to do X?”
Trying to put oneself in one’s customers shoes means genuinely help them make the right decision and partnering with them.
This is something I’m particularly keen on. Not just selling, but working alongside my clients to help them succeed.
“Customer Success” is even a popular job position at the moment. However I find that too often, it’s just a phrase and the customer success officer is just a seller in sheep’s clothing.
Try and be genuinely interested in the success of your customer and you will be surprised. We supported a client with a man from Mars report last year. It was just a wee three-day engagement but the outcome was nice:
Whereas our client was about to embark on a costly and useless B2C strategy which would have led to nothing, we comforted them by pointing towards a more rewarding low-hanging fruit strategy while emphasising a few issues that needed to be fixed.
This little engagement made our client save hundreds of thousands of euros (each year).
A few days ago, I received a little note from them with a box of chocolate. Yes! They sent us the chocolate, not the other way round. Not only that, they shared their prospects with us. They are genuinely grateful we helped them.
And we are genuinely happy we did. We feel proud that we’ve helped a nice company as best we could.
As the author at Inc.com points out:
You’ll give better advice, and you’ll become more charismatic in the process
See! Self-development articles can be helpful to businesses too.