The PR Adviser: Why Should Someone Buy From You?
If you’re having trouble answering this question, columnist Lilian Raji can help you get a started with a few fill-in-the-blank statements.
Right now, though, I want to collectively address the responses I’ve gotten from people who have no clue where to start with last month’s questions.
Since I crossed my heart and pinky swore, I will not be revealing who said what. However, you’re all perfectly welcome to be vain and think this article is about you.
Let’s start with my first question from last month: Why should someone buy from you?
If you were sitting across from me and asked me this, I would begin with my process. And that process begins with you as a company.
You see, before you graced me with your physical presence, I would have scoured the internet for your digital presence. I would arrive to our meeting already knowing why you wanted to meet with me.
By the time our meeting concluded, you’d be convinced you need me by your side. Not because of my vast experience and success with other companies, but because you feel like I get you and understand your company.
You would buy from me because I make you feel special. I make you feel understood. I make you feel heard.
How are you making your customers feel special, understood and heard?
Answering this question well is how you capture the hearts, minds and loyalty of luxury consumers. But this is a broader discussion for a future article.
In this article, I’m trying to trick you.
Yes, this is a trick question, because I know your mind immediately goes to how you think your customers feel about your brand.
Let me make an utterly shocking revelation—it really isn’t about your customers. It comes back to you.
I personally enjoy helping people; I’ve always been like this.
In college, when students were having problems with a particular department or teacher, they came to me.
I relished in my Marlon Brando/”Godfather” moment as I told them exactly how to fix the problem, while imparting upon them that on a day that may never come, I may call upon them to do a service for me. If I ever did call in that service, it was usually to help someone else.
If I could pay my rent, my Amex bill and fund my biannual international travels with gratitude, I would probably work for free. So, when I meet with you and make you feel special, understood and heard, it’s because nothing brings me more joy than being able to help. It’s why I write this column.
Your customers aren’t connecting with your brand because you have the best customer service, or the highest quality product, or blah, blah, blah, snooze.
When you as a designer sat down to create those drop-dead gorgeous drop earrings, your design inspiration came first and foremost from wanting to create something to make the person who wears them feel exceptional.
This desire, your desire, is what makes a customer buy from you.
So go back to why you started your business. And don’t be lazy and tell me you wanted to help people, that’s my thing. (Actually, my thing is I feel a deep sense of purpose when I help people, and more spectacularly, when I see the results of my work for them.)
Whether you’re a jewelry brand or a jewelry store, something motivated you to start your company. That motivation is what has kept you in business and it’s also what got you your first set of customers.
I find most clients have long buried this motivation under a pile of stuff.
Stuff includes the challenges of building a business, the headaches, the long nights, the P&L statements, balance sheets, and employee manuals, and lions, and tigers and bears, oh my! Stuff blinds us to our original reason, our original motivation, and subsequently makes us forget we were really on to something when we started. If you hadn’t been, you wouldn’t now be here, reading this column.
To help, let’s do a few fill-in-the-blanks.
I decided to start this company because _______________ .
While there already are so many jewelry designers or stores in existence, I felt they were missing _______________ .
I proved my concept and was able to grow my business to this point because my original vision yielded _______________ within the first year.
Since then, I’ve had to tweak my original vision by _______________ to meet market demands.
When I look back at where I started, what I created, and how customers have responded to my vision, I realize people buy from me because _______________ .
Insert prayer emoji here. As in, I’m praying for you to have screamed “Yahtzee!” after completing that last statement.
If you’re still struggling, alas, I’m here to help! Schedule a completely complimentary call with me and let’s find out one-on-one why customers buy from you.
For the Yahtzee screamers, we’ll pick back up with another confounding question in the next column.
In a Q&A, CEO David Sherwood shares some company history, the secret to success during the busiest time of year, and more.
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