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How to connect with buyers to gain insights

So you’re ready to create content that engages your buyers and moves them to take action. You’ve identified your target market, but how do you find the right people within that market to talk to in order to identify the who, what, when, where, why and how you need to create your content? This is where you will have to do some detective work. You’ll get the best, most accurate responses from those who have made a purchase decision within the past 60 days or those who are currently in the process of making one. For the latter however, be strategic if you plan to target your current leads. Bombarding them with questions without the right approach could make them run the other direction (likely toward your competitor). When looking for buyers to talk to, the goal is one-on-one interactions. Why? You’ll get more in depth and accurate responses. With focus groups you often the risk of having a few dominant voices directing the responses or if it’s sensitive subject, some may not speak up. Surveys can deliver limited results. Here’s a few ideas to find and gain insights from buyers:

  • – Attend industry conferences and trade shows – a number of attendees may be shopping for the very solution you offer. Do any of your competitors have booth setups at the expo? Take note of the people stopping by that booth and see if you can talk to them after.
  • – Recent buyers – talk to your current customers, and ask them if they can refer anyone else for you to talk to – particularly those who may have purchased from your competitor’s. Be sure to incentivize them to do so.
  • – Social networks – identify top influencers in your target market. What are they talking about in regards to your industry or the type of solution or product you offer?
  • – Networking events, meet-up groups and associations – look for groups within your industry or target market, attend their networking events or meet-ups and join their associations. You’ll make powerful connections here.
  • – Look through online industry forums – peruse Q&As and discussion threads in which people are discussing your solution or similar solutions. Take note of questions, concerns, comments they make. This will help you identify the types of concerns you need to address in your content.
  • – Use your CRM tool or email marketing – identify folks who continually engage with content you are putting out, but are not taking action. For instance, with emails are there any recipients on your list who regular click on your call-to-action links, but don’t take action? You might try reaching out to them individually for an interview. This will require some digging and cross referencing.
  • – Tap your sales force – depending on the structure of your organization, you may have a sales team you can ask for names of individuals who recently made a purchase. This will provide a great deal of insight into their process and what they looked for in determining which solution or product to buy.

These are just a few ideas, but opportunities are everywhere if you look for them. Once you’ve found people to talk to, what do you ask? The next post will cover the types questions to ask these buyers to get the information you want and need.

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