Communication means sending and receiving. A needs analysis is an essential step for doing business. Only if you know what the needs are can you make offers that seem tailor-made. This is how communication with the target group becomes good advice. Especially for the brick-and-mortar furniture business, this is the chance to turn well-informed shoppers into buyers through the internet.
So listen carefully! Hang out in the same forums as your customers. Network, do surveys. Interaction is the magic word – and not only on social media. You will learn a lot about your target group.
2. Don’t monologue
Imagine walking into a furniture store and the salesperson goes on and on about why their product is so great. Certainly your sofa search won’t get very far with such a person.
Say you are lucky enough to find the almost perfect sofa – you tell the salesperson (who actually doesn’t deserve the title) that the colour curry doesn’t go with your wallpaper, but they ignore you and continue doing their thing. To buy or not to buy? Let’s just leave it at that. You’ll probably do the same with the salesperson.
3. Speak the same language
Expressing yourself in a simple way can be difficult, especially if you have technical knowledge. However, it is decisive for successful communication with the target group. So put yourself in the shoes of a layperson without prior knowledge.
Think about the words your customers use to look or ask for something. Draw on your experience of listening. By the way, speaking the same language also helps you choose the right keywords (#hashtags) on Instagram or when writing a website that will be found by Google.
4. Be specific
I would like to use a corona example to show you how important it is to send clear messages when communicating with the target group. When Great Britain introduced measures to ease the lockdown, the government changed its “Stay at home” slogan to “Stay alert”. It sounded something like this:
“Work from home. Unless you can’t. In which case, go to the office. But not with public transport. If this is not possible, use public transport. But stay alert! Control the virus!”
Boris Johnson caused massive confusion and drew harsh criticism. So if you want people to buy something from you, explain what it is you’re offering and its benefits. Include a clear call to action – it could be something like “buy now”. Because looking around intently does not generate revenue!
Discounts do not equal communication with the target group
For that matter, discounts positioned next to the product with a few keywords have the same effect as “Stay alert”. What this really means is: “You can buy this if you’re bargain hunting and willing to take a risk. Or you can leave it.”
At worst, you end up confusing your target group because it isn’t clear what is actually being offered. The potential customer just shrugs and moves on...
5. Arouse emotions
Laughing is not only healthy, it’s also fun. We are likely to remember a fun experience. This applies to emotions in general. They are more sustainable than just dry facts. If you can tap into the emotions of the target group with your communication, you will make an impression.
A special form of emotional communication is “storytelling”. Stories paint pictures in our minds and help to anchor information. Use your unique story for communicating with your target group! When they identify with your story, you’ve made new friends.
6. Be a visionary
Happiness is the driving force behind everything we do. So ask, “What makes my target group happy? What is the problem and how can my offer solve it?’ Instead of harping on the negative, which is not very constructive, focus on the positive.
Say it’s about a wing chair. The customer loves red. You showed them a suitable model. But the price...at this point you can either diminish sales by giving a discount or pick up on the fact that the customer mentioned her recently deceased grandmother, who also had a wing chair:
After you have expressed your condolences and recognised that this purchase is supposed to overcome the loss of the grandmother, don’t spend time talking about the death of loved ones. Inspire happiness: This armchair will bring back her childhood as soon as she sits in it! This is where the customer will read the book that grandma used to read to her. Thanks to the ergonomically adjustable backrest and extendable footrest, she may even drift off to sleep and dream of grandma. This wing chair is grandma!
7. Talk about values and goals
Now comes the crucial point: All your efforts will only accomplish half as much if you do not define your “why”! Your motivation is the compass in communication with the target group. Values and goals shape your brand image. You create a sense of “we-ness” through the opportunity for identification. Your “community” can spread the message. This is valuable advertising for your company because it is authentic.
Identification can also be an enormous help when looking for qualified employees. If you and your applicant share the same values and goals, you will come together because you belong together. Probably even permanently and with great success. Because those who have the “why” in mind are usually more motivated and work more efficiently.