Dec 16

MANAGEMENT MINUTE: Turn customers into partners

customers-into-partnersLeaders must set the tone for their staff and there’s no better way to do that than by determining which customers to target and how to capture their attention.

Your job as a leader is to know, understand and deliver the services that your customers want and need,” says success coach Matthew Tomkins. Here’s expert guidance for identifying — and making the most of — your customers’ needs.

 

Learn More About Your Clients

Just because you’re leading the team doesn’t mean you know everything there is to know about your customers. Rectify this problem by selecting two or three customers a month for a one-on-one chat.

Try this: Make a list of your existing customers that you update monthly. Randomly choose which customers you’ll chat with, then draw a line through their names. Once you’ve spoken with each customer at least once, you can start the process over.

What to say: Use your telephone time with clients to ask them specific questions about their needs and how your services can help them better. You can also use this time to find out what training services or tools your customers would like.

These quick interviews will help you discover who your customers are and how they’re using your products. You can also spot commonalities among your customers that could spawn new services.

Keep Marketers In The Loop

Now that you have a better grasp on both your customers’ personalities and how they’re using your services, you can share that information with your marketing team to improve your communications.

Example:Perhaps many of your customers highly value your on-site training. Your marketing team should promote those aspects of your company in all advertising materials and pitch meetings. They can even include client testimonials as proof of your company’s reputation.

Sharing this type of information will ensure that you continue to attract new customers– and keep your existing ones.

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Nov 13

CUSTOMER SERVICE CORNER: 3 customer-service strategies to close any sale

close-any-saleYou could spend months preparing a spectacular marketing campaign, but you won’t get anywhere if your customer service reps aren’t following up your work with effective closing techniques.

Audiences aren’t the same today as they were five or 10 years ago, points out relationship-marketing coach Katrina Sawa. That means your closing techniques must evolve, as well. She offers these up-to-date strategies:

Assume The Sale

Your energy and enthusiasm for turning a potential customer into a loyal one will subconsciously push customers toward signing on for your products and services.

Try this:When you’re working with customers, assume that they will buy your product. Speak to them as if you are already finding solutions to their most important problems.

Worry About Their Loss

As a potential customer’s first line of contact for your company, you are in the prime position to fret over everything the potential customer will miss out on if they turn down your offers.

Do it like this:List a few crucial problems customers usually have, then explain exactly how they are letting solutions slip through their fingers.

Explain The Urgency

You don’t want customers to think they have all the time in the world to decide on your product. While they are taking their time, your competitors may swoop in and steal your sale. You must make customers feel that they must hurry lest they miss out on a great deal or option.

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Jul 03

CUSTOMER SERVICE CORNER: 3 reasons why customers might ignore you

You’ve spent all your resources getting your company’s products and messages into the public eye, so you’re good to go, right? Wrong.

U.S. customers are a tougher sell today than they were only a couple decades ago, says Mark Joyner, author of The Irresistible Offer: How To Sell Your Product Or Service In 3 Seconds Or Less. Use this advice to trump the three top reasons customers are most likely ignoring you:

Reason #1: Information Overload

American consumers are bombarded with more than 3,000 advertising messages each day in multiple formats, including print, radio, web and television.

Problem:When people are surrounded by so many messages, they only pay attention to the most clever or eye-catching one.

Solution: Make a clear offer that cuts through the marketing clutter. When you put your offer upfront, you trumpet your product’s value — and blow your competition out of the water.

Reason #2:Customers Are Smart

Consumers spend much of their time reading exposes on marketing behavior and television shows aimed at understanding how advertising messages work.

Problem: People can quickly get to the root of any marketing message — and see through manipulation.

Solution: Keeping your offer at the forefront of all marketing campaigns shows your customers exactly what they’ll get from you — a clear, effective service.

Reason #3:Customers Are Impatient

You may want to roll your message out slowly, but many customers stop paying attention after the first few seconds. And, they will be upset if you try to share your message with them during off hours.

Problem: You must continue developing new and interesting ways to snag customers’ attention without overstepping their boundaries.

Solution: Showcasing your offer rather than engaging in trickery shows customers that you value their time — and that you can perform your service without barging in on their private time.

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