Help keep your sales flowing by marketing to the right customers in the
NOVEMBER 12, 2014 One of the biggest concerns of running a small business is finding new prospects to keep your sales pipelines full. You can panic if you have no systematic plan on how to identify who your perfect customer is, where to find them and how to nurture them to a sale.
So how can you identify, target and nurture your new prospects until they become your ideal customers?
There may be only one day a year devoted to giving thanks, but expressing thanks year round and doing it well is one of the most profitable business strategies you can have.
Numerous studies reveal that when you thank your customers, they spend more money and tell their friends about the exceptional service and products you deliver, increasing your profits. Volumes chronicle how employee productivity zooms when appreciation is expressed, raising your margins. Vendors go the extra mile to extend credit and deliver “just in time” when they hear gratitude regularly, and keep your cash flowing. Giving thanks works in business.
But you’re already doing more with less and the last thing you want is another item on your to-do list. What are the most effective and efficient ways to express gratitude to these important players in your positive business success?
Start today implementing these 4 tips to develop the profitable habit of saying “Thank you” to your customers, employees, and vendors year-round:
Keeping your customers happy is the key to earning their trust and their business. Some companies do this well, and go above and beyond to make sure their customers are satisfied. Others seem to view customer service as an afterthought.
“It’s always befuddling to watch businesses that say they focus on customer service turn around and act like their customers don’t matter,” said Aishwarya Hariharan, product marketer at customer support software company Freshdesk. “They claim that no one matters more [than their customers], but their approach just doesn’t seem to reflect it.”
We are coming up on a decade in our own business. We have worked with thousands of clients and many times that number of prospects. As independent business people, our survival depends on our ability to forecast and close work. We have a very high close rate once we’re presenting, especially in person. This has been achieved through careful study of human nature and at a high cost.
As a consultant, you need to make the prospecting cycle as tight as possible so you are not chasing leads that won’t go anywhere. We began to experience greater success when we understood the following principle: Most people can’t say no.
I don’t mean this in the sense that they will buy from you if you overcome objections or demonstrate value. Most prospects know very quickly if they see value in what you’re doing and will buy. Our experience has been the best engagements result from connections that form quickly or, if there are delays because of a competitive procurement process, you are continually building a tighter relationship as it goes on. Absent this, you are likely waiting for a ‘no’.
The reason for this, my partner and I believe, is that most people hate the idea of rejection and hence are hesitant to do it to other people. I, for one, appreciate having my attention and effort liberated by a firm ‘no’. I am now free to begin the hunt for a new client, sometimes with lessons learned. But the slow ‘no’, or worse, the ‘we’re thinking about it’ just takes up mental and emotional cycles that are better spent elsewhere.
Continuing our discussion of Generation X as our target consumer, we have gathered a variety of facts about our subjects and now need to use those facts to answer the following questions.
- Why do they buy?
- How do they buy?
- What do they buy?
- Where do they buy?
- Where do you find them?
- How do you reach them?
Let’s answer the questions using the information we’ve learned about Generation X.
Customers are altering their behavior because of uncertainty about the future: laying off employees (maybe even your contacts), hoarding cash and postponing routine purchases. All purchase decisions are now up for conscious review.
Here are some ways to get your customers back in the habit of buying from you.