Remember the Girl Scout classic, “Make new friends but keep the old; one is silver and the other gold.” Applied to business, classic winning strategies are 1) to attract new business and 2) to keep happy customers.
Offer what your prospect needs and what you can deliver profitably. Ask questions and listen carefully to your customers and prospects.
Be where your best prospects can find you. Do you write articles in the publications that your prospects read? Do you attend professional and trade gatherings where your prospects go for information, education and fellowship?
Speak your customers’ language. Show that you understand the problem and that you have the solution. Your customers and prospects do business with you because you have a solution that they need.
Attracting customers in one thing. Keeping them is another. Your customers expect excellent services and products. They don’t care how you do it. Deliver excellence consistently and your customers willingly pay for it.
Go beyond what your customers expect. I recall having some work on my car at the local dealership. As I was preparing to leave, I realized I had some correspondence that I wanted to mail. As I past the receptionist’s desk, I noticed a stack of outgoing mail and asked if I could add mine to it. To my amazement, she said, “No. We don’t accept other people’s mail.” Apparently, it also stunned the sales manager because he quickly took my mail and said how totally pleased he was to mail it for me. Bet the conversation between him and the receptionist was interesting.
Be innovative and look for ways to improve what you offer. Change as the times dictate. For example, the internet, teleseminars and webinars have changed ways to communicate.
Put your money in excellent customer service. Train and equip your team to solve customer problems. Give them some latitude and creative license to provide the results the customer wants to have.
I don’t know when I’ll be in Chicago O’Hare International Airport again; however, I can recommend highly Stanley’s Blackhawk restaurant on concourse F near Gate 8 if you are there. Sonia, my server, understands extraordinary service. My traveling companion wanted a “to go box” for her salad. Since Stanley’s doesn’t provide “to go boxes,” Sonia found a solution. She went next door to another restaurant and got a box. The experience was so exceptional and unexpected that I doubled her tip and asked to speak to the manager to tell him. When I left, Sonia and her manager were smiling from ear to ear.
Constantly searching for an excellent provider takes a lot of time. Customers like to find a “vendor home” and stay there. Satisfied customers do the best marketing and advertising.
Do you have winning strategies in your business to attract new customers and keep them? Do you transform them into your marketing and sales team with excellent products, services and stellar customer care? Take a page from the Girl Scouts—attract new business and keep happy customers, one is silver and the other gold.
© 2011 Ann Elliott All Rights Reserved.
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