Whether we’ve been in business for five months or five years, many of us are revamping our businesses to adapt to our collective new business climate. Over the past several months I have spoken with many business owners who are changing their products and services to adjust.

One critical thing we must do first, however, is:

Rediscover our customers. 

It may seem basic, especially if you have been successfully serving your target market for a number of years. The reality is that many of our customers’ problems have changed since the beginning of the pandemic. As a result, the benefits their business can achieve by working with you may also be different. Or, maybe, worst case, they no longer need your service since they no longer have the same needs. Then you will need to discover a new customer. 

Here are three tips as a reminder:

  1. Schedule a time to talk to your current and prospective customers. Surveys can be helpful at some point, depending upon your business model, but a one to one conversation is much more effective.
  2. Develop a list of open-ended questions ahead of time to stimulate conversation. For example. Andrew Sobel and Jerold Panas wrote a great book called “Power Questions.” It a quick read and has excellent examples of how to ask better questions so you get the answers you need. For example, if they say, ‘“We need more innovation.” Ask. “Can you describe what innovation means to you?”’
  3. Don’t presume you know the answers, make sure you listen, and then ask more questions. You may be surprised by what you learn. 

You may get confirmation that your current offerings are still relevant. The time you spent listening will help you continue to build your relationships with your current and prospective customers so it’s a win/win!

You may find that you need to revamp your offerings or even find a different target market. Armed with your customer discovery data, however, you will be able to determine what changes you need to make to your business model to stay competitive and relevant for the months to come. 

On page 3 of “Power Questions,” they tell a story about the time they interviewed the CEO of a major corporation about what would impress him when he met someone trying to get his business. 

“‘I can always tell,” he says, “how experienced and insightful a prospective consultant, banker, or lawyer is by the quality of their questions and how intently they listen. That’s how simple it is.”‘

Are you asking the right questions and listening to the answers? 

Join the upcoming Hera Launch Program to dive deeper into how to rediscover your customer. To learn more about the program, register here.