Can Doing Surveys Actually Make Selling FUN?

Are you a small business owner that HATES selling?  Sometimes, you’d rather stick a fork in your eye than have a sales conversation.  A lot of that distaste for selling comes from a still small voice that has you believing that you are convincing people to do something they don’t want to do or you’re selling them something that they don’t need.  Much of this fear is unfounded.  AND much of this fear comes from the fact that you probably don’t know for sure how your customers perceive your product or service.  AMEX

Guts are great – but data is better for decisions

Small businesses don’t capture or measure their customer satisfaction levels in any meaningful way. This is a huge missed opportunity to increase attrition, up-and-cross-sells, AND improve the quality of the customer experience.

It’s actually kind of funny, but as much as your “gut” has gotten you where you are today — at some point, it starts working against you.  At some point, you will need data to help you either make big product or service decisions or to hone in on an area where a small tweak can mean big profits.

Have you ever been in a meeting where several people use the phrase “I think our customers want” or some variation of that?  That is a sure fire trigger that you are headed on the road to spinning your wheels and where having some kind of customer feedback in the form of DATA would not only resolve the conflict, but increase your level of confidence about what to do next.

Getting customer feedback — it’s not what you think

I know what you’re thinking; getting customer feedback is expensive and time consuming.  While this may have been true in the past, it certainly isn’t true today.  Online surveys are one of the most cost and time effective ways to get the information that you need to run your business better.

Another reason small business owners give for not doing research is that you need mad statistical analysis skills to understand the data — not true.  QuestionPro has one of the best data-reporting features on the market.  If you don’t have a degree in statistics, then just use the simple bar charts and pie charts and you’ll get all the information you need to make a good decision.

So — how do surveys make selling fun exactly?

I reeled you into this article by telling you that surveys can actually make selling fun — here’s how:

  1. You’re not running your business blind:  Once you’ve gathered some feedback and data, this almost magical clarity sets in.  You actually know who your customers are and what matters to them.  You’re not guessing.  And when you’re not guessing, you are confident.  When you are confident, then you can truly target just those customers who you KNOW that you can help and how you can help them.
  2. You gain a profitability leverage:  Price is everyone’s leas favorite subject.  When you have good data on what value your product or service brings to your customer — price literally disappears.  It becomes irrelevant because now you know the positive impact and benefit your product brings and you can have that pricing conversation from a confident state of mind — instead of feeling like a used car salesman.
  3. You will experience less stress:  Stress comes from not knowing; when you know who your customers are, what they value and what they are willing to pay — you marketing becomes MORE focused and you will spend less time, worry less and make more money.
  4. It starts a conversation:  Think of surveys as a “quantitative conversation” with your customers or your market.  You ask a question, they answer and then you respond to that answer.  Don’t just use surveys as a way to grade your performance, use it as a way to listen to your customers.  Then use your blog or newsletter to share the responses and open the conversation.  This will build engagement, commitment and ultimately loyalty.

Selling is an integral part of being in business.  Dare I say — it’s the only function that actually keeps you in business.  You can’t afford to hate it or run away from it or even outsource it to sales people when you haven’t done the work yourself.

The bottom line is that when you use surveys to start conversations with your customers and your market, you will collect actual facts and data that you can use to make better, more profitable decisions AND you’ll be building an engaged customer base in the process.

I’ll bet you never thought that doing a survey was so powerful.

Ivana Taylor is the publisher of DIYMarketers and the President of Third Force, a strategic marketing firm. She's the marketing expert and book editor for Small Business Trends and a frequent contributor to AMEX Open Forum.

Posted in Best Practice

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