Volume I Issue 1
February 15, 2005
Why? That’s my favorite question.
I remember the first market research study I commissioned. I wanted to find out how we could sell more of
one of our most profitable grades of paper. I asked our researcher to survey printers and ask “What do
you buy and why?”
Do you know why your customers buy your products or services?
Many sellers really don’t know. They don’t know because they don’t ask. They don’t ask because they
think they know. If that sounds like they’re running in circles, you’re right.
They know that their customers buy because of price, quality and service. What more do they need to
How do your customers define quality? Is it the souped up Ferrari that they will pay more for? Or is it the
reliable VW that is cost effective but dependable?
Do you really know what your customers think about quality? Do they all look at it the same way?
And how do they define service? I remember a Saturday afternoon years ago when my dry cleaner didn’t
have my shirts ready on time. I had an early morning flight on Monday, and needed those shirts. The
owner delivered the shirts to my house on Saturday night.
That was service.
It never happened again, but I’ve been with the same dry cleaner ever since.
For someone else, service might be three hour dry cleaning or the store that opens at 7AM.
Do you really know what your customers think about service?
Is it that the manufacturer responds to special requests quickly? Is it that the customer service people
answer the phone quickly? Is it distributors with lost of inventory ready to ship the same day?
Do you really know what they buy and why?
And if you asked your sales, marketing and customer service people why your customers buy from you,
would they all give you the same answer?
So be sure to ask.
And then listen.
Be sure to watch for the next issue on Feb 28:
“Does Your Market Analysis Dig Beneath the Surface to Get the Real Story?”
Copyright 2005 Jack Miller
All rights reserved
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