Hang on – ‘Delighting your customers’ – isn’t this supposed to be a sales tip? This sounds a lot more like a customer service tip!
We think it’s both! We sometimes get so caught up in our quest to find new customers that we often forget the people who are currently paying our bills, our existing customers. There’s a statistic that tells us that if a customer buys a second product from us there’s a whopping 80% chance they’ll buy a third, fourth and so on. Whoa that sounds like a good reason to look after them!
But how does this relate to sales?
As we’ve stated elsewhere in these pages, there are basically two ways to grow your business:
- Find new customers, and
- Increase your business with existing customers.
When talking to prospects we advocate that salespeople take the time to fully understand their needs before offering any solutions to meet those needs. Done successfully we believe this approach will give you an edge over your competitors because most salespeople don’t do it.
But what happens after your customers have bought their first product from you? As salespeople we’re probably thinking that we understand their needs because they actually bought from us. But that might have been 6 months ago!
Like everything today, the needs of your customers are constantly changing. What they needed 6 months ago, or even last week, might be very different from what they need today.
This presents a challenge for businesses – how can you possibly keep on top of understanding the ever changing needs of all your clients? To us the main answer is constant dialogue. Every time you talk to a client, get updated about their business. Ask them what their current situation is, what’s going well and what they’re finding challenging. Find out what’s happening in their lives and in their businesses!
Your further challenge is this – if you haven’t spoken to a customer for say 6 months, the chances are you’re not fully meeting their needs. If one of your competitors comes along and takes the time to understand them and suggest solutions to meet those needs you may well lose a customer, or at least part of a customers’ business. And you’ll probably be left wondering why.
Yes your customers want great service, but what they want more than anything is a partner that builds a strong relationship with them and takes the time to constantly understand and update their needs. When you visit your doctor you don’t expect to talk about the broken arm you suffered 20 years ago.
Talk to your customers. Understand them and their current needs, constantly update your knowledge of them. Delight them at every opportunity. Make them feel that their life or their business is better off for being your customer. Now that is superior sales and service!