When marketing a product or service, a business owner needs to have a client avatar in mind, the perfect prospect that can help you understand your customers buying decisions and the influences that help decide them.
Ryan Levesque, creator and author of the ASK Method, has been met with resistance in the past when he tried to assist business owners in marketing products for their specific avatars.
The biggest problem, according to Ryan, is that business owners assume they know their business’s avatar and end up shutting themselves off from information that could help their business. Ryan prompts owners to think with a novice mind, as if they just entered their specific market, and to start surveying customers wants, needs and what they are willing to buy.
If you collect the data without any preconceived ideas or bias, then the data will be able to speak for itself and reveal the truth!
But to get good feedback, you need to ask the right questions. This is where most people struggle as they are unsure what to ask or they ask what it is their customers want, which is the wrong question to ask as customers do not normally know what they want.
Instead, Ryan suggests using the Single Most Important Question Method (SMIQ). This method is a framework for how to pose your questions, for example, ask your customer, ‘When it comes to X, what is the biggest challenge or frustration you run into?’ Ask you customers to be as detailed as they can with their responses. The answers you receive will be personal, rather than generic, and you will be able to identify the different groups of people that are interested in your product and that you are able to market a solution to.
How SMIQ worked for Ryan Levesque
Ryan personally experienced getting to know his client avatar for his orchid business in this way. He had no knowledge or experience in this field and so went into the market asking, ‘When caring for your orchid, what is the biggest challenge/frustration/question you run into?’ The feedback he received was that most people wanted to know more about watering orchids. He then built a product around watering orchids and marketed it to the same people who had given him the feedback, and didn’t sell a single product.
Instead of giving up, he used the results as more feedback and looked at his original data again. He realized he had missed out on smaller groups that had responded with detailed answers about their personal experiences and challenges. He decided to focus on these smaller groups and market to them. This change took his business from nothing to $25 000 a month in 18 months, which then grew to half a million dollars a year.
Ryan learnt that the depth of a customer’s response is far more valuable than the number or frequency of responses. It works! Ryan has implemented this advice into building multi-million dollar businesses in 23 different industries and has generated over $100 million in sales in the process.