Market Research: Increasing Your Selling Power
When a female entrepreneur has defined her ideal customers and her ideal customers’ desires and needs, and she’s brought them to her web site or store, it’s time for her to find out even more.
When a female entrepreneur has defined her ideal customers and her ideal customers’ desires and needs, and she’s brought them to her web site or store, it’s time for her to find out even more – specifically, what leads to them buying from her, and what leads to them walking away. By completing this component of market research, an entrepreneur can increase her sales – and also develop ongoing customer loyalty.
Once a woman business owner has given her potential customers the opportunity to buy, it’s a good idea to find out even more about them – whether they end up buying or not.
It’s key to find out why a customer didn’t buy – was it the price? Did they need to think about it? Did they feel like the concept or delivery was off? Was it geography or timing? Uncover all the barriers that prevented the customer from buying. Understanding why a customer didn’t buy is crucial, because it allows the entrepreneur to structure her marketing to blast through those barriers in the future.
On the other hand, it is absolutely imperative to discover why a customer did buy – and once he or she did, which product or service benefits best served him or her. Key in on how the product or service stacked up to the customer’s expectations of what was promised. When an entrepreneur knows how she is serving her customers, she can then enhance existing products or services – and develop new ones – to create long-term buying opportunities and customer loyalty as she continues to meet customer needs.
Remember Tina, the purse designer who designed a trendy purse loaded with special compartments to help keep her ideal customer organized? She’d created a hot pink purse with a PDA pocket and a key hook for Sarah, the 38-year-old mother of three who loves to be part of her children’s activities and volunteers at their schools several times per month.
Once Sarah has had the chance to get some use out of her stylish and useful purse, Tina sends her a survey, asking which features of the purse she liked best, and which she could do without. From Sarah’s answers, Tina learns that Sarah loves the PDA pocket, the key hook and the color-coordinated file folder – and of course, she adores the fashionable color and fabric of the purse. And surprise – Sarah is expecting her fourth child and will now work from home! She’s been looking everywhere for a larger bag that can accommodate diapers, wipes, bottles, and everything else a baby needs – in addition to everything she needs to carry for her job – but can’t find one!
This is the perfect opportunity for Tina to create a new product – a larger bag with a variety of pockets and compartments in addition to what Sarah’s original purse contained.
By keeping in touch with customers (and potential customers who didn’t end up buying), female entrepreneurs create a tremendous opportunity to make more sales and to continue working with established customers by continuing to meet their changing needs.
Learn more about the author, Michele DeKinder-Smith.
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- female entrepreneurs
- women business owners
- small business growth
- market research
- researching customers
- consumer research