Are You Selling What Your Customers Want? : Under30CEO Are You Selling What Your Customers Want? : Under30CEO
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Are You Selling What Your Customers Want?

| February 16, 2013 | 7 Comments

What Do Your Customer's Want?When I was in high school, not much resonated with me. I was forced by the school to study subjects that I did not like to get me to places I did not really want to go. I felt like I was stuck in a place that had me doing everything I didn’t want to do and that is why I left high school in year 10. Today, I am part owner and the Executive Director of Nationwide Business Solutions, a financial services company. Some people are surprised when I mention this, they generally say “but you never even finished high school”. Personally, I attribute my success to ambition, drive, passion, and a thirst for knowledge.

High School Lessons

My years in high school taught me one thing about business – you have to sell what your customers want, not what you think they want. High school offered me subjects I did not want which, in turn, forced me to leave. Now I’m not saying high school is bad, but let’s save that topic for another time.

So this begs the question, are you offering products to your customers and clients that they do not want?

As a business owner and entrepreneur, you’re selling more than just products and services; you’re selling solutions to a problem. What are the emotions that drive your customers? What does your client truly want? An example in our case, ‘we sell hopes and dreams’. Our customers don’t just want financial services and advice on Wealth Management, they want a secure future for themselves and their family. They want to protect the assets that they have worked tirelessly for and enjoy their golden years without the worry of being financially unstable. We are the means to make their dreams come true.

The same is true for your customers and clients. As an entrepreneur, you have to ensure that you provide what your customers want. You are the solution to their problems. As a business owner, it’s also important to realize that you need to be flexible and willing to adapt quickly to the constantly changing needs of your customers. Having all the technology in the world is useless if you don’t pay strict attention to what they demand at any given time. Kodak is a great example of how the inability to adapt to your customers can hurt your business, despite having the most advanced technology in the world.

Kodak was a leader in the development of cutting edge innovations in the world of photography. By the late 1970s, it had at least a 90% market share in the industry. Although the company was one of the first to hammer out the core technology and principles of Digital Photography, Kodak failed to take note of the oncoming Digital Revolution, relying instead on their strong market presence with the use of traditional photographic film. This allowed many of Kodak’s competitors to take the lion’s share in the new technology.

By the late 1990s, Kodak was struggling to stay afloat. It has since failed to regain the glory of its former days and as of early 2012, the company announced its plan to sell various aspects of its business in an effort to recover from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Market Research

So how should you avoid getting your business stuck in a problem like this? You have to conduct market research and find out what clients want from you, as a business. Failing to do market research is like driving a car from Sydney to the Gold Coast without a map or street signs, you have to know which direction to travel and how fast to go.  A good market research plan will tell you who your clients are and when they are most likely and willing to purchase or use your services.

To me, I’ve spent a lot of time creating things that hopefully, I think, can make a difference in people’s lives.

So, my final word for today and some advice that I’m sure everyone has heard at some point; always remember to keep it simple! You have to really dig deep and find out which business you’re in specifically and why – this alone will help you find out what your clients and customers really want from you. It is definitely one of the keys to an everlasting experience for your clients.

James Tsimopoulos is part owner and the Executive Director of Nationwide Business Solutions. He is a Gen Y entrepreneur and investor. His personal goal is to empower, influence and motivate people to reach their full potential and make better choices for themselves and their families’ future by providing advice and service of the highest standards.

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  • Budding Entrepreneur

    Good article.
    Im confused though,James.Steve Jobs says “how would customers dont know what they want”.What he believed was customers’ thinking is limited ,lets create something they never expected and sell them.In such a premise,market research is waste of resources.
    So what is the right approach?

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  • James Tsimopoulos

    Hi Budding Entrepreneur,

    Thank you for your question and it is a fantastic observation. Whilst Apple may not assemble focus groups to conduct market research they certainly conduct market research on their own customers and what draws them to Apple products in the first place.

    As part of the ongoing Apple-Samsung trial, there has been a huge amount of court filings where both Apple and Samsung are looking to have all sorts of confidential data and trial exhibits sealed and safely stowed away from the eyes of the public.

    Early last year Apple’s Greg Joswiak – the company’s VP of Product Marketing submitted a declaration to the court explaining why documents relating to Apple’s market research and strategy should be sealed.

    Every month, Apple surveys iPhone, iPad and iMac buyers. The surveys reveal what is driving customers to buy Apple’s products.

    So as you can see, there are numerous ways to conduct market research and Apple seem to stick to this one method.

    Thank you again for your question. Have a great day.

  • Mike Sherbakov

    thanks for sharing!