How to Know What Your Customers Need from You

How to Know What Your Customers Need From You

My inner 8-year-old is bouncing around on a sugar high 8-year-old who ate too much sugar.

We FINALLY got to watch Ghostbusters Afterlife. For a number of reasons, we had to wait, but last night was THE night.

I've been ridiculously excited to see this movie since I saw the trailer in early 2021. And let me tell you, it did NOT disappoint. Not even a little bit.

Matter of fact, it was the best movie I've seen since watching the original at the drive-in theater with my best friend /cousin in the back of my aunt and uncle’s station wagon in the mid-eighties.

I laughed. I cried. I jumped a bit. And I clapped.

At home. In my living room. At the TV.

Things that would normally make me cringe in embarrassment if anyone saw me do them.

image source: IMDB

Image Source: IMDB

It made me feel all the things the original Ghostbusters did when I was a kid. Getting to share that experience with my own kid brought a level of enjoyment and happiness I haven't experienced since before this damn pandemic.

And after it was over, the excitement and enjoyment lingered in our living room while we discussed our favourite parts of the movie, talking animatedly while our excitement bubbled over.

THIS is what happens when you know your audience well. This is what happens when you know exactly what they want and need - even if they don't.

The producers, writers, directors, and actors knew exactly what their audience wanted.

They knew exactly who they are.

People in their mid-40s who grew up desperately wanting that Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man toy and Firehouse Headquarters playset.

Who ran around their backyards with make-shift proton packs made out of cardboard boxes and garden hoses. Who now have children they want to share that experience with.


And they learned from their mistakes.

The 2016 reboot wasn't what the audience wanted. We wanted the next chapter, not a retelling of the same story. That movie gets a lot of hate; more than it deserves in my opinion. But with a couple of different choices, it could have done quite well. And no, I'm not talking about the cast. I'm talking about the choice to completely retell the same story with different characters. Which has nothing to do with the new cast being women. IMO, it would have gotten the same amount of hate if they cast men as new characters.

Staypuft Marshmallow man

Regardless of their gender, the new characters had no ties to the original characters.

They tried to rewrite a beloved story.

And that's not what the audience wanted.

Afterlife, on the other hand, was exactly what we wanted, combined with some elements we didn't even know we needed (like a smart, feisty, female lead), all packaged up in a nostalgic bow.


When you know your audience, and know them well, you're capable of giving them great things. Great things that they want.

You WANT your audience to be excited by what you have for them.

You WANT them to sit up and say, “YES! This was made for ME!

But how do you know what they want? How do you know what they need?


At some point in your business, you probably went about finding clients or customers for your offer. A lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners start this way. They start with a product or service, something they’re passionate about, or that they do really well. And proceed to try to find people to buy it.

This strategy works for a while, but eventually, you’ll burn out if you keep trying to find people to buy what you offer. And THIS is when the business starts to fall apart. The business owner runs out of steam, the clients stop coming as easily. It gets hard to maintain things.

At this point, you have two choices: you can give up, call it quits, and close up shop; or you can change your strategy and start looking for products that your clients want.

In reality, this strategy shift doesn’t have to involve a lot of work or a complete shift of your offerings. What you want to know is how can you package up what you’re already doing in a way that will make it more enticing to your clients.

  • How can you make it more valuable to them?
  • How can you make it easier for them?
  • How can you make it more economical for them?
  • How can you take away some of the barriers?
  • You could guess at the answers, or you could just ask.


If you want your clients and customers to instantly feel more valued, ask them their opinions. Go straight to the source.

Ask them how you could do better.

Ask them what would make it easier for them.

Have genuine conversations, and listen with the intention of learning. Pay attention to what they have to say, and what they’re not saying.

And then do your best to give them what they’ve asked for. If you’ve gone to the trouble of asking them what they want, you could at least make the effort to try to give it to them.


It’s also important to understand that your clients are going to need different things at different stages in their Buyer’s Journey.

Related: How to Create a Powerful Customer Journey. If you're not familiar if your customer's Buyer's Journey, this article will help you learn what it is and how it impacts your sales process.

When you’re trying to create products, services, or offers that your clients are going to want, don’t forget what gets them to the point where they’re ready to buy.

What are you doing to help your clients, you know, actually become clients? How are you helping them before they’ve invested in you? How are you showing up for them?

If you’re not sure how to do that, this handy chart can help.

Content by Funnel-Journey Stage

Your clients have different needs at every stage. When they’re just starting out on their journey, they need content from you that requires no commitment. They’re not even remotely ready to purchase yet, so selling to them is going to be fruitless. They have no intent to purchase and their pain threshold is quite high. You need to start positioning yourself as an authority, as someone who can help them alleviate the symptoms of the pain they’re experiencing.


At the next stage, they’re still not ready to buy, but they’re getting closer. They still have no intent to purchase but their pain threshold is decreasing as they become aware that a solution is possible. Your goal should be to continue to position yourself as someone who can alleviate the symptoms of the pain their experiencing.


As they move forward, their intent to purchase increases, and their pain threshold decreases at each step, as long as you’ve designed content for them that gets them to next stage. At this point, they’re ready to start hearing about your products, services, or offers. They’re not quite ready to buy, but you’ve got their interest.


Soon, their interest will turn into a decision-making process. As their pain threshold continues to decrease, their intent to purchase will increase. At this point, you need to provide them with what they need to make that decision to purchase from you.


Once they’ve made a decision to buy, they’re ready to have a sales conversation, so you need to be ready to have it as well. Their intent to purchase is high, and their pain threshold is as low as it’s going to get until the problem is solved. What can you do to facilitate the purchase? What do they need from you at this point?


When you know who your clients are, inside and out, you’ll know exactly how they need that “sales conversation” to happen. You’ll know whether you can direct them to a sales page, or if you’ll have to have an actual person-to-person conversation.


And knowing what they need to push them over the edge will make the difference between getting the sale or getting a series of objections that you’ll have to overcome.