Like it or not, the balance of power in the marketplace has shifted from sellers to buyers. Buyers have more information at their fingertips and more choices available than ever before. And because of this, if you don’t have a good understanding of your customers then your marketing is going to be akin to throwing mud against the wall in the hopes that something, somewhere sticks. The trick to knowing your customers? It’s as simple – and as difficult – as turning halfway around so that rather than viewing your business through your eyes, you’re now looking at it through your customers’ eyes. The more attuned you are to seeing your business through your customers’ eyes, the more successful you will become. Here then are steps you can take to make this transition… Ask yourself, “What do your customers need?” What is the customer trying to accomplish and how are you going to help them accomplish it? What’s the result they’re looking for, and why are they going to contact you to get that result? Understand the context in which they’re seeing your marketing message. Are they getting input from friends and family? From experts? What websites are they visiting? What kinds of offers are they exposed to? What’s important to your customer? What is your buyer thinking, feeling, doing and saying? What’s your customers fears? What kind of pain are they in? What keeps them up at night? What are your customers’ aspirations and goals? What are they seeking, and what do they want to achieve? Try to get in their head and speak as they would speak and think as they would think. Rather than saying, “My customer is afraid of losing her husband if she doesn’t lose weight,” say it from her point of view. “I’m afraid (terrified?) of losing my husband if I don’t lose this ugly fat.” See the difference? Your goal is to really channel that person and find out what it feels like to be them. As you can imagine, this is going to help you tremendously with your marketing message. How does your customer perceive you, your business and your product? Your customers want to know how your product is going to really help them, if they can trust you, if they feel comfortable buying from you. Imagine being them: “Is this going to work? Will I get the results I want? “Does this guy know what he’s doing?” And now we come to an element almost no marketer thinks about – justification. Your customer may have to justify their purchase to a spouse or boss. They’ve got to explain their decision. “What am I going to tell my wife? How will I explain to the boss that this is the best choice?” Next – what style of buyer is your typical customer? Are they: – The person who wants to have all the facts and details before they make a decision? – Spontaneous, living in the moment, disliking details, making quick decisions and afraid they’ll miss out on something great? – Slow to make decisions, placing others needs ahead of their own, looking at the big picture? – Or are they curious, goal-oriented, highly motivated and focused on doing whatever it takes to be competitive? Once you understand which general type of buyer your customers tend to be, you can personalize your marketing for that particular type of buyer, all the way from how they like to receive their information to how they make that final buying decision. And lastly, where are your customers found? Not only in terms of geographic location, but also in terms of what websites do they frequent, when do they go there, and how can you attract their attention? The more you can get into your customer’s head, the more you can tailor your products and the marketing of those products to exactly suit your customers, the more successful you will be. I simply cannot stress this enough: Buyers hold the cards, and until you learn to sit down at the same table with them and play by their rules, your business won’t be nearly as profitable as it could be.