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Who Stole My Customers? - Part One

  • Thread starter johnthesearcher
  • Start date


New Member
The answer is .... nobody but, you may have inadvertantly 'given them away'

We have been involved in a year long project with new start businesses which involves technically 'shadowing' them and looking at ways to help them avoid the errors ........ we all probably made when we first started out.

We were with each business, from a wide sector diversity .... for a period of one week and the results were surprising ......

As a direct result we have planned a number of posts - which to most SBF subscribers - will not directly apply, probably be boring or seem irrelevant or appear to be stating the obvious ....... but may help focus the 'right out of the box' start up who should be making the SBF a 'sounding board' and a source of advice from the many excellent members who post regularly.

We are all aware (or should be) that good customer service holds many benefits for your business and is often under-valued by many business owners? When in fact, if you want your business to be successful, you need to train yourself and your employees to understand that the client must always come first.

When it comes to the concept of excellent service as a business strategy it can be an extremely effective tool that has the potential to turn your business into a huge hit with all of your clients.

But the simple fact is most small business owners don't fully understand the importance of putting an effective client service plan into action.

Did you know that one thing that everyone has in common is the pleasure they receive when the establishments they patronize make it clear that (they) know who you are and that they treat you with respect!

Even if you have never thought about what a good service plan can do for your business before - this series of e posts will hopefully be thought provoking.

Get into the habit of thinking 'relationship' as opposed to 'transaction' marketing.

First of all we need to look closely at the definition of a 'customer' which is not a term I'm comfortable with and why changing one word in your vocabulary can make such a difference ........ here's why!

Even if ..... you run a small shop/store or direct selling retail outlet you should go through all your documentation and do a word 'search and replace' exercise removing the term 'customer' and insert 'client'.

We all need to: live, sleep, eat, dream and breathe CLIENT and develop a relationship as opposed to transaction based mindset.

Words are important .... right? according to the Webster's Dictionary definition of these two similar words should make you think. (ref Jay Abraham)

Customer: A person who purchases a commodity or service.

Client: A person who is under the protection of another.

The term 'under your protection' simply means that you don't sell someone something just to make a profit but instead you sell to them because it meets their needs. Sales should be solution driven. Which means you listen to what they are looking for and (solve their problem) by offering them the best solution for them .... not for you (that kind of me,me,me thinking is too short term and 'old school')

This approach should be taken irrespective of what type of business you run ..... I mean even if you run a small corner shop ..... you want people to keep coming back and purchase other items from you ...... don't you? Then TREAT them like clients.

The timeless example is: the person who goes into a hardware shop to buy a power drill .... but they don't really need the drill .... they need the holes it can create. Maybe to put up shelves etc.

Let's say that the 'customer' was unsure of what they actually wanted but liked the look of the yellow £79.95 drill with the nice rubber grip. You could just sell them that one and treat them like a 'customer'

Get into the habit of thinking 'relationship' as opposed to 'transaction' marketing.

So by simply asking a few questions like:

How often are they likely to be using it? or is it for wood, metal, masonary?

Are you close to an electrical power source? Etc .... etc....etc.

You are able to determine from your 5 minute conversation that the £49.95 cordless blue one would best suit their needs.

So far you have asked a few questions and just lost £30.00 but ....... but we are thinking CLIENT here, so because they are 'technically' under your protection you can ethically suggest (upsell) the best type of screws/raw plugs and maybe a good quality drill bit accessory set which will meet their needs and net you a further £10.50 in sales.

Outcome: Satisfied 'customer' and the 'relationship' begins.

The above are examples of questions which could be asked which will help you to solve the 'customer's' problem (not just make a sale) and provide him/her with a product that meets his/her need, not their budget.

Get into the habit of thinking 'relationship' as opposed to 'transaction' marketing. I did mention that before but I cannot stress it's importance enough!

Furthermore, you could ask the person (potential client) once they reach the pay desk if they would object to giving you some contact details (lead capture) so that you can advise them of other things you have as monthly instore sales incentives ....... which may be of use to them.

You could also suggest that if they have any problem or just need some advice on the work they are planning to give you a call (help line)

Do you think that a 'customer' who gets that special treatment will come back to you when they need a saw or more shelving or whatever?

Answer: More than likely and it is also probable that they will refer you to their friends.

So the bottom line for you is that you lost approximately £20.00 on the initial transaction but have a very satisfied 'customer' whose lifetime value will far exceed the sum you .... invested in your client v's customer future proofing plan.

The "Who is Hiding My Customers?" (one of the few times that word will be used) e zine posts for our blog were specifically designed to show how excellent client service can be used to increase profits, make everyone happy and create extremely loyal lifetime clients.

Most business owners focus their marketing efforts on generating new leads, and turning them into new customers. There’s actually an easier way to make more money. And that’s to work your existing client base.

Don't fail to communicate with existing clients.

There are two ways to generate more revenue from existing customers. The first is to up sell and cross sell to people when they buy, as well as encourage them to purchase from you repeatedly. Once someone has bought from you the first time, they are much more likely to purchase again (so long as you didn’t annoy them in any way).

The other way is to ask satisfied customers to recommend other people who would benefit from what you sell.

Include your current clients within your marketing strategy. By communicating effectively with your existing customers, it is more likely they will return to you again and again. Offer incentives and exclusive offers. Make people feel special when they have trusted you with their money.

We will cover this subject in more detail as we add to the blog posts over the next few weeks for more information on public relations, marketing and sales.

Most of all ..... have fun, be friendly ...... selling is not rocket science, people don't deal with businesses they deal with PEOPLE!


Quote for The Day: "Having knowledge but not using it ..... is much the same as - not having the knowledge at all!"


Thanks for posting this information. I like it. I bookmarked it to read again with my free time,.

Thanks again,,:)