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Break down your client’s needs to think from their perspective

We’ve reflected on your business, now it is time to do the same for your client. You might have multiple types of clients, such as large customers, small customers, individuals, and they might be across a range of industries. Each of them may have a different value proposition they respond to. For the purpose of this exercise, in order to be thoughtful and specific, choose one target customer to focus on.

Taking some time to reflect on your customer will help you to build a successful business. Anyone can build something new and cool, but if it’s not solving a problem or improving something that isn’t working, customers aren’t going to buy it.

‍*Source: Adam Alter, Professor at the Stern School of Business‍

Answer questions about your customers

Similar to your business, you need to have a baseline understanding of your customer and their needs. Write these down in the next section of your workbook.

  • Who is your target customer? If you sell your product or service to other businesses then you should describe both the type/size/location of your target companies (example: DTC and e-commerce brands based in San Francisco) and also who your specific target customer within that company might be (example: Creative Directors, Brand Managers, etc.)

  • What are your customer wants and needs? Define the wants and needs of your customers as well as the needs and goals of the specific person you are selling to. 

  • How does your customer make decisions? For example, is there one decision maker or does your point of contact have to run the decision past multiple others? Will they need a one-pager or a deck to pass along? Are decisions made after the exchange of a few emails or are there many more hoops to jump through?

  • What are trends in society that might affect your customer? For example, how would a return to a fully virtual professional world affect your customer?

Now you’ve completed the second piece of the puzzle in your value proposition. You should be able to begin to see the overlap between your company and your customers, and how that creates a unique value proposition. Next, you’ll complete the third and final step in thinking about your value proposition—analyzing your competition.

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