When you break any decision down to its simplest form, it’s led by emotion. Whether it’s for something you love or against something you dislike, from a place of nostalgia or fear, or simply because it feels good to reward yourself and feel part of something, choices are driven by current emotional states or the promise of potential ones.
This insight is no revelation, but is often overlooked when small business owners are searching for ways to create a connection that leads to community building and ideal loyal customers. And it’s the one thing we all strive for — how to find a way to sell from a place of authenticity and heart and keeps people coming back.
Well, the heart part needs to start with you. Why ARE you doing what you are doing? What do YOU think you are selling and why? Then, once you’re clear on that, it’s time to discover the customer’s emotional connection to what you offer. If you aren’t sure, then it’s time to do a quick little survey to get a better sense of how you can not only serve your customer base but enable them to feel supported, emotionally fulfilled and feeling like they’ve got even more than they ever wanted.
Tools for Emotional Connection with Potential Customers
Now, onto the tools. Here are some simple things you can try to tune in to what types of emotional connections will motivate your customers.
Define the ideal customer for you, emotionally. Yea, I’m making you do some home work. Who is going to make you feel fulfilled, honored and appreciated for showing up and sharing your gifts and talents? What kind of person are they and where can you find them to connect?
Creative brainstorm time! Now, get quiet, clear your mind and slip into the shoes of your potential customer. What are their common personality traits? Where do they shop and how do they research goods and services? Any idea what motivates them to buy? Make up little life stories from the view point of different potential “customer characters.” Maybe one is married and a small business owner, another is a single older divorced woman, a third is a single young man — just let your mind play with what might trigger an emotional connection for each character.
Interview non-customers in your target market. Talk with people you know who can provide an objective opinion and ask them; If you were going to buy from me, what would be most important to you? Product? Customer service? Speed of delivery? Selection? Depth of experience and knowledge? Collaboration? Name what ever makes sense for what you offer and see what adds up and then find a way to connect an emotional state or scenario to that value.
Check in with current customers. It’s always smart to ask for or provide an easy way for current customers to provide a testimonial after collaboration. They will be the most informative of what emotional reason inspired them to work with you in the first place.
The Truth Behind the Emotion
When you create a clear emotional connection tied with the value of a product or service, there is no selling involved. The connections and community you create through your website, social media and other avenues will take care of that for you, as well as your testimonials and word-of-mouth conversions. The real power is in tapping into that authentic emotional space so people feel cared for and confident you are providing a way to fill a need they really do have. It’s at the heart of all conscious consumers — purchasing in a way that feels emotionally fulfilling and provides unique value for them.
Photo by sskennel
This post is part of the March Word Carnival — a monthly group blogging event specifically for small business owners. (It’s the most fun you’ll have all month!) Check out the rest of the fabulous carney work here.