Biz Tips: How to Read Minds

Biz Tips: How to Read Minds


How to Read Minds

Photo by Scott Rodgerson on Unsplash

Last week, I asked you to go out into the world and become a Jedi.

No light sabers included. I was talking about the part where you read people’s minds.

The goal of reading their minds is to understand what they want so you can use the right language to tell them you have what they’re looking for.

It’s simple in theory but a lot harder in practice.

I asked you to email your customers or go troll a few forums. Now, this works. It can yield insights that’ll be useful to you.

It’ll still leave a lot to be desired.

I want to go deeper.

If you’ve ever attended a workshop or class on marketing, you should be familiar with demographic segmentation. It’s where you drop people into buckets based on their income, location, ethnicity, etc.

In the end, you come out with a profile like:

John is a 45-year-old mid-level corporate manager with a yearly income of $98,000 living in a single family home. He has three children between the ages of 7–16 and drives a three-year-old Mercedes Benz. He’s an avid sports fan with season tickets to Atlanta Braves games.

So, you have all that information about John. None of it tells you why he decided to go vegan. Those are just data points that fail to tell you who John really is. You can’t tell if he went vegan because

– Meat was slowly killing him

– His wife turned him onto it and he loved it

– He’s having a midlife crisis and wants to change things up.

– He read an insightful book and started exploring the benefits of vegan living

Demographic data will never give you the reason he made that kind of change in his life. You’ll never understand the struggle he went through to get to where he is.

You won’t be able to sell to him.

When you understand the problems people face before they act, you’re on another level with your messaging.

It’s called many things — Jobs To Be Done, Leading With Benefits, Customer Centric Copy, etc — but the end result is the same.

You don’t rely on sterile data points to appeal to your customers. You rely on qualitative research into their hearts and minds. You extract their underlying problems and use that information to position your products.

You don’t buy a finance app for its ability to make pretty spreadsheets and graphs. You buy it to gain control of your life. You have a job that needs doing and you’ve hired the finance app to do it.

If that app meets your needs then you stick with it. If not, you fire it and go looking for an alternative. Remember, nobody buys features. They buy outcomes.

What’s the ideal outcome for your customers?

That’s the same question every person ever selling anything has ever asked. Luckily, there are ways to find the answer.

I’ll share one — get on the phone.

I said this before, but now I want to give you questions you can ask while you’re on the phone.

– Tell me about your day to day, the projects you’re working on and activities you find yourself engaged with the most.

– Tell me about your workflow as it relates to (activity). (note: they may mention more than one project or activity in the first question. Choose the one they seem most interested in or that’s most relevant to you to dive into deeper).

– What systems and tools do you use to accomplish your daily tasks.

– How long have you been using (systems and tools)

– How did you find it?

– Did you talk to anyone else before you decided to go with (tool)? What did they say?

– What made you finally settle down with this one?

– Have you used anything else in the past? (Go deep)

– What made you keep using this one?

– What do you like best about (current tool/process)

– What could be improved about (current tool/ process)

With all these questions, don’t lead. Just listen. Allow them to explore and go into detail. You’re being led to the Promised Land. Don’t sidetrack your guide.

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