Communicate with the Right Customer Segment Using Meisner Techniques

Background

The Meisner technique is used by actors to "get out their heads" and be more present in scenes with other actors. It's all about paying attention to behavior, reading your partner's emotional reactions, and being aware of your environment. This technique also encourages you to dig deeper into your own motivations and uncover your "kernel of truth." And while there are many rules & exercises that come with this form of acting training that we could go into, that just isn't important when it comes to your sales and marketing strategies. So, instead of going into too much detail, let's walk through a structured mental exercise utilizing Meisner techniques. The goal is to make better - and more specific - assumptions about your customer segments, but this is also supposed to be fun. So feel free to use your imagination and get creative. There are no wrong or right answers.

Imagine...

You have a physical office or boutique where you sell a specific product, and each customer has a specific problem they hope you can solve.
If you're purely digital, just use your imagination. If you did have a physical office or boutique, what would that look like? Think about the smell, the sounds, the lighting, the furniture, the style, the size of the space, where it's located, what else surrounds it, etc. If you were to walk in, right now, what would you see and experience? Now imagine that every online visitor to your website or shop or social media feed is a physical customer walking into your brick-and-mortar location, experiencing what you've staged. (Use the theatre or a film as a point of reference if you must.)

You're working the sales floor today.
You're folding clothes, dusting shelves, arranging products - whatever aligns best with your product. Think of the tasks you might need to do. What's the biggest struggle for you in managing your store? How do you feel about selling this product? What do you hope to gain? What's your vision for the future, and how are your actions helping you achieve your goals? What do you expect from your customers when they walk through the door? What do you really want them to do? Is it to buy a specific model, or interact with your product in a certain way? What objections might the customer make to your offer? What benefits can you counter with? How can you keep them in the store, instead of heading to your competitor's down the road?

Your first customer of the day walks in. Action!
Look at them - really see them for who they are. What are they wearing? How do they walk? Do their eyes meet yours, or is their chin down? Would you say that they're angry, happy, sad, hopeful, anxious, excited, or something even more specific? Do they confidently head towards what they want, or do they timidly browse hoping not to be noticed? Ask yourself, what do they need? Is it different from what they want? How can your product fulfill that need? What happens if you can't? Why do you think they came to your store to begin with?

What do you think is their kernel of truth?
What's the real problem they're looking for you to solve? What's the job they want to hire your product for? Is it to help them made an ex jealous, or heal with a little retail therapy? Are they looking for you to make their lives easier so that they can get more than four hours of sleep for once, or is that they desperately want clear skin, something they've never had before, and they think, maybe, just maybe, your product can help? What is driving them, and how can you meet that need? How can you deliver the value their seeking?

Now act on it.

Or complete this quick & dirty version of the exercise on a piece of paper to apply to your business content later.

Six questions to ask about your target customer:

1. What does your customer want?

2. What does your customer need?

3. What are 10 valid reasons why your customer should buy your product? What are the benefits they stand to gain?

4. What might have been going on in your customer's mind before their first interaction with you, in-person or online, as it relates to your product? Were the words "last straw" or "that's it" put to use, or was it more of a curious web surfing kind of thing?

5. If the customer isn't satisfied with your offer, who else will they shop with? How can you make a stronger connection with your customer than your competitors?

6. What is the "kernel of truth" driving them forward, and how can you get to the heart of it? The more specific the better.

By answering these questions, not only will you be better able to understand your customer, but you'll also have insights on how to appeal to them through strategic sales copy. And if you don't know the answers to these questions - ask! Your loyal customers will thank you for it.