A few years ago, on a bright Sunday morning, a friend and I decided to take a drive around the city. As I sat in the passenger’s seat basking in the morning glow of the sun, I noticed something that snapped me out of my bliss.
Because my friend was driving I was able to look on both sides of the streets. I like to compare and contrast the houses and see which one I would pick if I had a choice.
A silly game, I know.
But what I noticed that day was really abnormal for me. It’s something I’d never seen before. As we crept up to every intersection, I kept seeing it over and over and over again.
I swear we drove for about 5 miles, and at every intersection, I saw four of the same things. One on each block of the intersection.
I saw churches. Four at every intersection for at least 5 miles.
I saw Baptist, Pentecostal, Jehovah Witness, Evangelical, and every other denomination you could think of. They were all within blocks from each other.
To top it off, they all had full parking lots.
How is this possible?
I hear from small business owners every day who are struggling to get customers. Some want to start a new business and others are wondering “how to dominate” their chosen field.
Daily, I hear things like:
- “What’s one of the best non-competitive niches to start my online business?”
- “I want to do fitness coaching, but everyone and their daddy is doing that. No one will buy from me if I try that market! But it’s all I’m good at.”
- “How can I dominate a market when it’s oversaturated?”
Let me ask you something: When you buy something, it means something to you, right? It has value to you beyond the purchase price. Right?
I’m that way with books.
You can steal my clothes and I’ll be ok. But if you steal a book from me, I will hunt you down until you give it back. A book has much more meaning to me than clothes.
Did you ever watch Sex and the City?
Remember how Carrie was a shoe-aholic? She would spend half a paycheck on shoes! She loved her designer shoes so much, that she went to great lengths to never lose them.
Your customers have that same emotional attachment to their purchases.
What I often see in my clients is the belief that their customers are only buying their products and services.
But they’re not.
Customers are buying something else in addition to your products and services. Let me explain.
Your customers buy based on emotion then use logic to justify it.
- They want to feel safe.
- They want to feel taken care of.
- They want to feel pretty.
- They want to feel like they’re on the right path.
- They want to feel intelligent.
- They want to know that you’ll be there for them when things get bad or if they have questions.
See the keyword? Feel. When people buy from you—and I don’t care what you’re selling—they’re buying a feeling.
If you don’t speak to them on an emotional level, they will never buy from you. And if they do, it will be one time only. Let’s use a fitness coach as an example.
The people who buy from a fitness coach want to know they’ll get results. Those results are typically losing weight.
But what else do they want? What makes losing weight so hard that they’re considering hiring a coach to help them do it?
- Is it because they lack motivation during certain parts of the day?
- Is it because they haven’t found a program that solves their late night munchies?
- Is it because they’re worried about not knowing how to stop after eating one Oreo?
What emotional outcomes are they looking for?
Remember my story at the beginning of this post. The 4 churches located on every intersection for 5 miles had full parking lots.
None of those churches were in a turf war trying to make sure that one church wasn’t outdoing the other.
They didn’t have to. Because, yes, while they were all churches, they each offered a different emotional result for their members.
The church members attended based on the emotional needs they wanted filled.
Your customers are no different. Yes, they’re buying your products and services. But they’re also buying something else.
Figure out what that something else is, and you’re closer to getting more customers.