You are not your target market: You know too much.
You’re pretty smart. You’ve been around your industry or subject area for several years, maybe longer. You have studied, learned, tried, failed, learned some more, succeeded, and learned some more. In short, you are no longer the same as your customers.
Now, this is good because you have something to teach them. Now, this is also bad, because you don’t know what it’s like to be a beginner anymore. You think you remember, but that is tempered by looking back through your own experiences. Your customers are at the other end of the experience. They are looking ahead, but can’t see very far. It’s not really possible for you to really understand that anymore, because you know too much.
So you have to listen, deeply, to the questions customers ask. You have to think, deeply, about the questions they aren’t asking.
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.