The Greatest Business Secret in the World:
When we think of success in business, most of us think in terms of dollars, cents, statistics, facts, and figures. Yet all those measures of success are determined by the behavior of customers and the employees who serve them. Reward customers, and you’ll create and keep them. Fail to reward customers and you’re out of business. That’s the Greatest Business Secret in the World. So simple, so obvious, and so ignored.
Don’t ever make the mistake of thinking of buildings, computers, consultants, or even employees as your company’s greatest assets. Every company’s greatest assets are its customers, because without customers there is no company. It’s that simple.
The Only Two Things People Ever Buy:
Customers don’t buy what your company sells. Instead they buy what those goods and services do for them. To illustrate, consider the following plea from an anonymous customer:
– Don’t sell me clothes. Sell me a sharp appearance, style, and attractiveness.
– Don’t sell me insurance. Sell me peace of mind and a great future for my family and me.
– Don’t sell me a house. Sell me comfort, contentment, a good investment, and pride of ownership.
Despite all of the untold millions of products and services for sale in today’s marketplace, customers will exchange their hard-earned money for only two things:
1. Good feelings
2. Solutions to problems
They’ll Buy Much More When They Buy You:
How customers feel about the people that serve them or sell them is a key factor in winning and keeping them.
In any business, the people who deal directly with the customers can make or break the business. Make a good impression and the customer buys, multiplies, and comes back. Make a poor impression and you run him off. It’s as simple as that. And the more service-oriented the business is, the more crucial it becomes to have front-line people who know how to sell themselves.
To be sure, selling yourself to a customer is an art that must be tailored to your own personality, the customer, and the situation. Yet there is one underlying strategy whose application will almost always guarantee that you’ll make a good impression. Here it is: Help them to like themselves better and they’ll love you. Here are five specific ideas to help you towards that end.
1. Develop a genuine interest in and admiration for your customers.
2. Recognize and praise people for what they want to be recognized and praised for.
3. Put them at ease and establish rapport.
4. Use humor where it’s relevant and appropriate.
5. Let them know that you’re thinking about them.
The Five Best Ways to Keep Customers Coming Back:
Here are the most important ingredients for providing the kind of service that keeps customers coming back.
Be Reliable: Without question, consistent performance is what customers want most. More than anything else, the customer wants service that he can depend on.
More specifically this means:
– Do what you say you are going to do
– Do it when you say you’re going to do it
– Do it right the first time
– Get it done on time
Be Credible: One thing customers will readily pay for is peace of mind. As customers we all willingly go back to people and businesses who sincerely want to help us and have our best interest at heart. We want security, integrity, and the assurance that if there is a problem, it will be handled at no extra cost. Credibility brings customers back.
Be Attractive: Appearances can be deceiving, but customers draw a lot of conclusions about the quality of service on the basis of what they see. Anything your customer sees, feels, touches, hears, or smells concerning your business is shaping his opinion of your service for better or worse.
Be Responsive: Being responsive means being accessible, available, and willing to help customers whenever they have a problem. It also means keeping them informed and providing the service as soon as possible.
Be Empathic: Being empathic means putting yourself in the customer’s shoes, trying to grasp his point of view, and feeling what he feels. It means listening intently, asking the right questions, speaking his language, and tailoring your services to help him as best you can.