It’s never been easier to chase after the wrong customers. With the explosion of online marketing tools, you and your team can spend all day (and all night) doing it. Which is why it’s never been more important that you have something—or more specifically, someone—to guide you. The challenge for today’s business owner is to get to know your customer in far deeper ways than you’ve ever done before.

To go from good to great in your marketing (or bad to good), you have to close the gap between what you hope is true about your customers and what is actually true about them.

Here are ten questions designed to help you break out of the rut. You might be surprised not just by what you find, but what this could mean across all the areas of your business:

  1. If we assume that it’s not because of the price or the features, then the real reason people buy from us is ___________.
  2. If I take every want, need, problem or frustration that potential customers come to us with, what it really boils down to is they want us to __________________.
  3. The reason why some people who I wish would buy from us end up buying from our competitors is because we haven’t yet dared to _________________.
  4. Our employees only refer people to our business who are interested in ____________________.
  5. The customers that come back, come back because we make them feel _________________ in a way nobody else does.
  6. We know that no matter what our best customers say they want, what they really mean by that is ______________________.
  7. People refer their friends to us because they know that we are the best in our market at _______________________.
  8. The one piece of positive feedback we hear most often from new customers that always surprises me is ________________________________.
  9. The customers whom I don’t worry about and don’t want to chase are those who I can tell are looking for ____________________.
  10. The people we want to reach are people nobody else can speak to the way we can, because what makes them different is what makes us different, and that is __________________________.

Take some time with these questions. Book a 3-hour meeting with your marketing team to pull each of these questions apart. Figure out what they mean for your unique business. You’ll find that you’ll instantly start making different and better decisions about where you focus your marketing energy and dollars.

But watch what else happens. You might find, as we did, that digging into these questions has the power to reunite and re-inspire your team on what everyone is really passionate about—which is focusing on all the little things that make your business different from all of the others. Keep your focus on the goal. It’s not to show your customers a perfect business, but to show them a business that’s perfect for them.

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