Understanding your client’s point of view
Has someone ever decided to explain your needs and wants to you, before they took the time to understand your situation and preferences?
In business, it is easy to fall into the trap of believing that because you understand your product, you understand your client’s point of view on the product. The truth of the matter is that you and your clients will view your product from opposing points of view. The features that excite you may mean nothing to your clients, or may even decrease their user experience.
Your products or services should improve your clients’ lives. In order to really do that, you need to understand your clients’ point of view. Think about the problem that is leading them to your product or service, and consider the following questions:
- What can I do to understand my client’s problem from their perspective?
- What will my client do if they don’t use my product or service?
- What aspects of this problem are most attractive to my client?
- What is the least attractive point or disruptive point of my product?
- How important is this problem to my client?
- How does my product or service solve my clients’ problem?
- What else will my client need to solve their problem?
- Have I ever dealt with this problem personally?
The answers to these questions can help develop your understanding of your client’s point of view. Respecting this alternate perspective will help you serve their needs and wants.
To understand your client’s perspective, you need to keep your ego out of the way. That’s not always easy to do. You put a lot of effort into developing your product or service and you understand its value better than others, including your clients. Entrepreneurs and business owners are often emotionally invested in their products as well. The emotional investment can also blind you to areas where you do not completely understand your client’s needs and wants.
The solution is to listen to your clients and customers and to educate them on your offerings without being condescending. If you approach this conversation with an open mind you may even discover ways to add to or improve on your current offerings so that you can serve them better.
It is wise to discuss with your client what they are interested in to show them you care. You may also need to explain aspects of your service that the client doesn’t think are important. This type of explanation can be tricky to do without sounding preachy or condescending. In the end, it is all about effective communication with your client. It is about understanding what your clients need and want.
What lengths are you willing to go to understand your clients?
Several months ago I read about Prima Donna, a Belgian luxury lingerie company specializing in plus-sized bras. Prima Donna’s CEO, Ignace Van Doorselaere, decided that he and his male employees needed to understand what it was like to have a large cup size. So he initiated International E-Cup Day for Men, a day where each male employee wore a weighted harness to simulate the experience of having an E-cup. At the end of the promotional video created to document the exersize, Mr. Van Doorselaere states that everyone at Prima Donna now appreciates why good support is important.
This example may seem a bit unusual, but the video communicates an important message: Prima Donna cares about its customer’s needs and experience.
Understanding your clients’ perspectives gives you a far greater chance of closing a sale with them. It also helps you adapt your offerings to better fit their needs, which supports continuing sales.
It all comes down to listening with an open mind. Being creative in the way you gain an understanding of the clients’ needs and wants will lead to new opportunities. It also demonstrates your commitment to helping the client by fitting your product to them, rather than trying to force the client to for your product.
Copyright Notice: One of the reasons the Internet is great is the opportunities to share content. Please feel free to share links to this post! Please attribute it to Melissa Mortensen and melissamortensen.com.