Understanding your customers begins with identifying their basic buying motives. Customers don't buy goods and services, they buy benefits. When we buy toothpaste, for example, some are buying a pleasant taste, some are buying bright teeth and others are buying protection from tooth decay.
The products and services offered in the marketplace are constantly changing, but basic buying motives such as health, beauty, safety, comfort, convenience, economy and enjoyment change very slowly. For example, what can you offer people who generally shop in the evenings and on weekends? You can open at times convenient to them, thereby offering the benefit appeals to one of their basic buying motives.
You don't yet understand your prospects, therefore you need market information. Market information enables you to choose the right products and services to sell, determine the size and characteristics of your target market, and establish the best ways to promote. Once this is established, you would need more information to decide which areas to grow, where to cut back.
Market information needs to focus on your specific needs to be effective you are looking for answers for the following types of questions:
Uses the product or service?
Decides to make the purchase?
Actually, makes the purchase?
Will buy from me?
Buys from a competitor?
Is the product or service used?
Do customers find information about the product?
Do customers decide to buy?
Do customers actually buy?
Are the potential customers located?
Benefits do the customer want?
Is the basis of comparison with other products or services?
Is the rate of usage?
Price is our customers willing to pay?
Is the potential market for the product or service?
Armed with this information you will be better placed to approach more customers with confidence, knowing more about their needs and motivation for buying.