What do your clients want? Ask mom!

Over at A List Apart, Steph Hay writes about how Being Real Builds Trust.  In her article, she shares an interesting way to get inside the heads of her users (customers):

I start by writing down my assumptions about what my users care about.

Then I ask, “Would my mom ever say these things out loud?”

If the answer is “no,” then my assumptions are probably a stretch. I need to try harder to get at the kernel of beautiful truth. I keep going until my assumptions all sound like something my mom would actually say out loud.

Instead of using some stodgy, cookie-cutter, marketing-speak language about how she offers “cutting-edge services designed to meet her clients’ diverse business goals,” she takes the things her clients want, and puts them in her mother’s words:

  • I don’t want to feel stupid
  • I want to hire people I trust
  • I want to have a say in the final product
  • I want to feel valued
  • I’m nervous about this decision
Next time you’re working on your marketing materials, consider using Steph’s “Mom Test.”  I think you’ll get a better sense of what your clients need when you start using the same words your mother would.

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