Being indispensable to your customers is the defining edge between surviving and thriving in this new economy. How would your customers answer these questions about your business? If you are not getting the perfect answer you are looking for, you know where to put your immediate efforts to growing your business revenue.
1. Who is the first business that comes to the customer’s mind in your industry?
99.2% of people surveyed said they will do business with the first company that comes to mind for a product or a service. Customers, both consumer and B2B customers develop buying habits based on what business is foremost in their minds. In the age of overwhelming information getting properly position in the customer’s mind is key to sustaining a profitable business.
The way to gain that top of mind position is by creating positive buzz. Are you giving them information of value, or are you just trying to sell to them? Do you know your market needs or are you just serving up what you have and hope someone comes along to buy it? Do you have a solid Internet presence where you are easily findable? Are you a “player” in your community and market where your name recognition is a given? If you aren’t the first choice, you are behind in the race. Get properly positioned.
2. How eager are your customers to come in contact with your employees?
Large companies thought they could save money by relocating call centers overseas; customers began dreading help services because the people on the other end were perceived to have poor command of the language and information the customer needed help on. Companies who created good products were getting their reputation hammered because of the service interaction.
Do your customers dread talking with your employees, consider them a neutral experience, or enjoy the interaction with your staff? The more enjoyment your customers get from your staff the more interaction they are going to want. If you have a fun knowledgeable staff customers enjoy talking with, why not give your staff greater opportunity to interact even more with the customers? Make the customer interaction personable. In fact, people make buying decisions more based on their feelings toward the individual they are working with than on the quality of the product. For many of us, product quality differences in the eyes of the customer vary only slightly. It is the relationship they trust and buy from.
3. What makes it worth the effort for your customers to do business with you?
Every buying decision is a choice. Maybe once you were the only competitor in town and now your customers have options closer. Once upon a time you had the most charismatic salesperson working a territory, who no longer works for you. Maybe you are the new player in town and you are trying to make headway in the market.
What are you doing to make sure your customers consider you a worthy choice that is worth the effort to do business with you? Too many businesses rest on their successful history and expect the flow of customers to continue. Others rely on a recognizable national brand they represent to bring in business. Nothing stays the same. When a city creates a new retail area, traffic patterns shift. When a competitor creates new technology, the rules of the industry change. When a competitor grows by acquiring other players in the market, you now have a new force to deal with. Companies go bankrupt ignoring these changes.
What changes have happened in your market to cause you to react and increase the reasons why customers should do business with you? Even better, how can you be proactive to increase your customer base?
As a small business you can’t out-spend the competition, but you can out-maneuver them to grow your business.
Russell J. White, President of PinnacleSolutions.org is one of America’s leading business growth strategists. He is an author, consultant, international speaker and business expert on leadership, marketing and growth strategies. Since 1991 Russell has worked with hundreds of clients. He has been a frequent guest on television and radio. He is considered both a motivational speaker and a business expert. Russell also writes and publishes the Grow Your Business blog. Contact him at 803-984-9448 or RJWhite@PinnacleSolutions.org