LearnShareProsper logo Boosting Business_Performance Adele Sommers
by Adele Sommers, Ph.D.
 www.LearnShareProsper.com Adele@LearnShareProsper.com 
In This Issue

September 2020
Volume 16, Issue 9

These are free monthly tips on boosting business and professional results.

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Note from the Author

How Well Do You Know Your Audience?

Person thinking "knowledge is power"
Whatever your line of work, such as teaching, training, marketing, professional speaking, or any type of content creation, do you attempt to research your audience members in depth?

If so, you know that it’s an important way to “psych out” the clients, prospects, customers, site visitors, learners, viewers, or readers you are trying to attract.

After all, your audience comprises all of the people who will engage with your courses, products, services, systems, and content.

They represent a mix of backgrounds, skills, personality traits, and so forth. Some may be tech savvy; some might not. Some might be familiar with your material, others not. Some might be older, others younger; and so on.

Once you figure out exactly what makes your audiences tick, you can engage them more deeply, and accommodate their needs accordingly. That’s why this month’s newsletter offers a wide range of ideas about how you can gather deeper insights into your prospects through self assessments. The psychology involved in audience surveys will help you pique people’s interest and compel them to take further action.

Please enjoy today’s food for thought, and be sure to join the conversation by leaving your comments on my Facebook page!

Here’s to your business prosperity,

Adele Sommers, Ph.D., business improvement specialist, author, educator, and award-winning instructional designer

P.S. If you missed any previous issue, please visit the newsletter archive!

Special Message

Six Reasons Why People Buy from Us (Or Don’t!)

Woman with shopping bagsWhile we’re on the subject of creative ways to analyze our audiences, let’s take a moment to consider why people might be drawn to what we offer in the first place.

According to Alex Mandossian, a well-respected marketing expert who has observed consumer buying habits carefully, there are six primary reasons why people might decide to consume our products and services. People buy from us when they:

1) know us
2) like us
3) trust us
4) understand what we’re offering
5) believe what we’re telling them, and the
6) timing is right.

Mandossian points out that the first five reasons are under our control. It’s our jobs as business people to familiarize our audience with what we offer and do it in a sincere, personable, and compelling way.

However, the sixth factor — timing — is outside of our control, since it involves the prospect’s readiness or financial ability to acquire our wares. The moral of the story: Keep refining the first five factors, and continue to market until the timing is right!

Feature Article

Using Self-Assessments to Prime Your Prospects
by Adele Sommers

Are you wondering how to grab your prospects’ attention in this incredibly distracting world of round-the-clock, instant status updating? If so, you’re in good company! Nearly every marketer I encounter admits facing the same challenge.

While video messaging bombards us from all sides, social media platforms are busy “training” us to respond to ever-evolving inducements to improve our online ranking, visibility, and popularity; post more this or that; and tweak something else. So what that means is everyone ends up doing fairly similar things. We see masses of people using trendy techniques and cookie-cutter tactics, without ever stopping to consider what would make their offers stand out more effectively in their online environment.

I started thinking, Why should our prospects ever pay close attention to us?

Prospects seeing themselves in a mirrorIt seems their natural curiosity and normal attention spans are being increasingly co-opted by influences beyond our control. Yet we can’t stop or reverse this trend simply by layering on more e-marketing tricks.

It’s caused me to wonder: Just what can we do to regain that essential engagement with our customers, prospects, and clients? Is there a way to break through their relentless distractions, and entice them to focus again on what we create?

I think the answer is yes, by holding up a mirror.

A mirror helps your prospects pause, reflect, and see themselves in a new light. If you can offer this gift in a novel and surprising way, you’ve won half the battle!

That battle entails gaining your audience’s awareness and shifting it to something you explain, teach, or sell. Ideally, what you produce empowers people to either fulfill a goal or aspiration or solve a painful problem. Whenever you can help prospects in this way, you’re achieving exactly what the ideal marketing process is designed to do!

For that reason, you’ll want to consider how...

Self-Assessments Help Your Prospects Focus on Themselves

Who among us isn’t curious about something that caters to our own self interests? That’s why it’s so attention-grabbing to invite a prospect to learn more about herself. Whatever causes a person to reflect on her own situation has an intrinsic advantage over the many bright, shiny objects that don’t.

A self-assessment questionnaire is an ideal tool for this purpose. In its simplest format, it’s straightforward to create. And once it’s complete, you can link it to any relevant section of your e-book, blog, Facebook page, or training program.

Please understand that I’m not referring to marketing or opinion surveys that probe our views on various topics as they collect data for anonymous statistical purposes.

Man wondering, Is this going to mean anything to me?In contrast, self-assessments are much more personal. They help people look inward and introspect about themselves or perhaps their organizations. They also provide feedback, such as by explaining how to interpret the survey’s final score. When you design your assessments, you’ll likewise want to give your respondents a way to decode their results.

Remember the self-improvement polls that used to appear in print magazines (and probably still do)? They intrigued us with headlines like, “Do You Get Enough Sleep at Night? Answer These 12 Questions to Find Out!”

At the end, you tallied your score and then deciphered your results by following the basic instructions (for example, “If you answered ‘yes’ to at least 7 questions, it means...” ).

The headline, the implied promise, and the simple, accessible format were what made self-improvement polls so enticing. They offered instant insight into burning issues — even if we weren’t aware of having those issues before we encountered the poll!

Self-assessments not only serve to hold up a mirror to your prospects...

Assessments Open the Door to “Next Steps” Your Prospects Can Take

For example, your prospect’s survey results could include advice and links to one or more of your related resources, such as tips, articles, publications, webinars, or tutorials. Your goal is to help your prospects advance to the next level compared to where they are today, based on their responses.

The image below illustrates a few examples of the next steps and learning tools you can create over time to continue building the relationship with your prospects. You might consider this process a way to develop a lifelong learning curriculum for your audiences to consume.

[Click the image to open a more complete version.]

Overview diagram of using self-assessments

Below are just two of many approaches you could take...

Assessment Idea #1: Create a Simple Web-based Survey

You can create your own online questionnaire using a no-cost (or low-cost) survey program such as SurveyMonkey or eSurveysPro (both have *free* account options).

Benefits: It’s an inexpensive way to produce a thought-provoking poll and link it to a publication, blog, or other online platform.

Caveats: Most low-end survey tools don’t calculate and display scores to individual survey-takers, or have a way to present instant, customized feedback. So, the ability to personalize the survey itself doesn’t apply. But you could provide some basic self-scoring instructions that tell your prospects which next steps to take based on their responses.

Assessment Idea #2: Use a Multimedia-Based Quiz Engine

You can design (or have another party design and/or develop for you) a distinctive, interactive questionnaire using an advanced, multimedia-based quiz engine. A quiz engine is the type of program used to develop online-learning “knowledge checks.” But rather than generating a traditional test, it’s the basis for your self-assessment.

Product & Service Quiz videostart iconBenefits: A quiz engine makes it possible to immediately calculate and display total scores, and also provide customized feedback. With the ability to include multimedia, the possibilities are endless for producing an imaginative and highly engaging experience with the potential to go viral.

Plus, the advice your assessment generates can easily link to your next steps and related offers. (Here’s a whimsical space-themed example. Flash is required to view the video and report.)

Caveats: You’ll want to request an estimate and allocate a budget for this approach, based on its potential benefits to your marketing campaigns.

In Conclusion...

With a little imagination, you can design innovative self-assessments paired with next steps and follow-up resources to dramatically capture your audience’s attention. Based on their survey results, you’d invite them to sample your related courseware, publications, products, services, or whatever else you produce!

Copyright 2020 Adele Sommers

About the Author

"Straight Talk" Special Report
"Straight Talk" Workbook

Adele Sommers, Ph.D. is the author of “Straight Talk on Boosting Business Performance” — an award-winning Special Report and Workbook program.

If you liked today’s issue, you’ll love this down-to-earth overview of how 12 potent business-boosting strategies can reenergize the morale and productivity of your enterprise, tame unruly projects, and attract loyal, satisfied customers. It’s accompanied by a step-by-step workbook designed to help you easily create your own success action plan. Browse the table of contents and reader reviews on the description page.

Adele also offers no-cost articles and resources to help small businesses and large organizations accelerate productivity and increase profitability. Learn more at LearnShareProsper.com.

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