It’s a place people would either love or hate to return to. Thinking back to your high school days, the only period everyone had together was lunch in the cafeteria. Along with identifying this week’s mystery meat, you can likely peg every single person in that room to at least one different “group”. Even still, each person had a unique story and experience to share. In fact, there is no better place to recognize diversity within a similar group than in a high school cafeteria.
Those memories, whether positive or negative, can teach us one of the most important lessons of customer acquisition: every person and experience is different.
1. Not all of your customers are the same, so don’t treat them like they are.
You have the jocks, the band geeks, the freshmen, the cheerleaders and many others (like the map used in the movie Mean Girls). Your customer demographics might look fairly similar based on age, race and social interests, but it doesn’t take much to figure out that members of your “caucasian women ages 25-35 with post-secondary education residing in a metropolitan area” group aren’t the exact same. That being said, the more you segment your audience, the more personalized you can make the acquisition process.
Last year, a coffee retailer in Florida tested out deeper list segmentation with new and existing customers. They divided segments into several categories and customized campaigns for each group. Their conversions and revenue increased dramatically just by dividing their segments further. Once you get deeper into segmenting, you’ll realize that…
2. Every experience is different; use it to your advantage.
Some people loved high school. Others, not so much. It all depends on an individual experience. When acquiring new customers, it’s better to approach based on what problem you can solve for that unique person. For example, you’re selling a bookkeeping solution to two customers. While they are demographically similar, they have two very different experiences with their current bookkeeping services.
Customer A is perfectly happy with her current service, so your goal is to convert her to your product. Customer B loathes everything to do with bookkeeping and would rather it just disappear altogether. All former experiences with different software has left a bad taste in his mouth. Tailoring your sales approach to each customer’s experience will yield you more hits than misses.
With Customer A, focus on what makes your service better than her current vendor. You’ll need a compelling offer to convince her to switch. Customer B requires a bit of a different conversation. You’ll need to convince him that your service can make all of his worries go away because it is the best out there (and incredibly easy to use). This is a perfect example of one demographic segment and one product, but two experiences and two approaches.
Even though you’ve already pushed all of those high school memories into the back of your mind, they can teach you a lot about dealing with other people. Ultimately, they can teach you how to sell to just about anyone. The next time you find yourself examining your market (or in a high school cafeteria), think about how else you could segment to give your customers the best experience possible!