Recently, Sarah was at a Grand Rapids art event called ArtPrize (wait, this is important!) where artists from across the world gather to enter a contest, show their work, and spread their message. While there, Sarah heard a spin-off on the old trope of “starving artists” in the form of an important question: “What is it that you starve for?”

Of course, this is an excellent question to ask in your business to: What do your customers starve for? What do you starve for? We don’t many literally, of course, although some entrepreneurs could probably relate! But everyone has that inner sense of what gets them up in the morning and keeps them working late even when they don’t want to. It’s their personal drive, the things that really annoy them, make them happy, and push them forward.

On today’s podcast, we’re going to spend some time talking about what people starve for, and why that’s so important for marketing efforts.

Success in Business Is Rarely a Good Answer

This is the sort of question that can’t be answered by, “Successful in my business” or “Meeting revenue goals.” Very few customers are actually Scrooge McDuck! They may hedge at first, but clients really do “starve” for something, and it’s not a general idea of success.

This is especially important understanding the marketing needs of a customer – and how you relate to your customers, too! The easiest way to uncover what really drives your customers is just to sit down and talk about it! The problem is that our world is very fast moving, completing projects quickly is important, and it’s less common to have these conversations about personal needs with clients.

So, the first thing we should aim to do is create space and time to talk about what a client starves for. We suggest having a meeting just to talk about this, and being upfront that you want to explore what really matters to the client on a personal level. A little give and take on this point can be very helpful, so it’s good to share about what you starve for, too!

Personal and Emotional Needs are Surprisingly Common, Even in the B2B World

As Aleks points out with his account of the recent trip to Boston (listen to our Boston podcast to learn more about that excellent trip), many “starving” needs are highly personal and emotional: This particular client just wanted to sleep better at night! They wanted the peace of mind that comes to doing the best they can, correcting mistakes, treating others well, and living a healthy life.

This is actually very common! In fact, if you haven’t listened to any of our Hops & Handshakes interviews yet, this is a very common theme among the business leaders. They deal with technical questions, employee management and logistics every day, but ultimately they are driven by their own emotional needs. Some just want to help people. Others long for that peace of mind that comes with a job well done. Many are incredibly proud of their products or services and are driven by a desire to share them with the world.

How to Tell What Your Clients Starve For

So, we’ve talked about the important of meeting with clients and talking about this “starving” issue, but we’ve also mentioned that many B2B clients may struggle to talk about personal reasons for their business. So, how do you find out what’s important to them?

First, you should have a profile for each of your clients. That’s pretty basic level stuff, right? Your clients should have ongoing profiles from when they were still leads. Whatever system you use for these profiles, create a space simply to take notes about what you observe when you meet the client. What do they like talking about? What foods do they like? What activities outside of work? What music do they play? All these little details can add up to a valuable picture about what makes them tick, even if they don’t come out and describe it themselves.

So, what is that you starve for? Are you more inclined to think about something related to work, or an emotional need? Let us know what you think about it on social media @21handshake! Did you enjoy the episode? Please take a moment to rate us 5 stars and share with a friend!