Customers are a dime a dozen. If you believe that and are still in business, I’d love to know how you’ve managed it! Customers are like bars of gold and should be treated like the precious commodity that they are. Customers are the lifeblood of your business. Without them, you won’t have a business, right? Have you ever wondered how to show customer appreciation to those customers who are new to your business or with whom you’ve had a long-term relationship? We have some thoughts.
How To Show Customer Appreciation
Provide introductory offers. I’m certain you’ve noticed if you go to a new to you website and are a first time potential customer, that business will offer you an introductory price or a coupon on your first purchase. It reels you in and makes you feel good. What kind of introductory offers could your business provide?
What kind of loss leader products or services could you provide? A good idea of a loss leader is the “ethical bribe” you provide to those who sign up for your newsletter. A loss leader could also be a lower priced good or service that brings a customer in and then you can later upsell that customer into a larger product and they might be happy to upgrade simply because they’re so happy with what you’ve provided thus far.
Everyone loves a sample. Do you have samples you could provide? If your’e a bakery, that’s easy. If you’re a service provider, it might not be as simple. But try to come up with a way to offer a potential client a smaple.
Ask for beta testers. People love to be in on the ground floor and love the idea they are part of an exclusive group that gets to test out your newest products or services in exchange for their feedback.
Communicate. If you have clients onboarded, stay in touch with them. Sure you’re providing the service they’re paying for and they’re paying you when they should, but how about staying in touch between the delivery and payment? How about picking up the phone and having a conversation? Send an email. Ask how things are going. Check in. That communication could keep that client with you for the long term.
What do you to do show your customers that you appreciate them?
If you can delegate any of these tasks, then you should. Remember, you are the brains and the brawn behind your business. Delegate those items that don’t require your unique expertise to accomplish.
Be the company sales man. Sure, you can hire sales people, but when you’re just opening the doors, YOU are the sales man that needs to be out there pounding the pavement, shaking hands and making sales. You know the best way to share your company message and you are the best and most knowledgeable person on the team, right? Once you’ve grown enough to bring on a team, you can share with them your experience on what worked, and what didn’t when you were out making sales.
Send out invoices and pay the bills. When you’re a fledgling business you want to know what kind of money is coming in and what’s going out. What better way to do that than to be involved in the day to day collection of payments and paying of bills?
Setting up business systems. Your systems can change and morph as the business grows, but when you’re starting out, set up systems that make sense to you and tweak them as you grow.
Communicating with your team and your clients. Remember, take care of your clients, especially those who came on board when you were starting out. Thank them for sticking with you by offering stellar customer service.
Go to work. It is easy to sit back and think, “I’m the boss, I don’t have to go to work if I don’t want.” That certainly is one of the benefits of being the boss, but that can backfire and you could lose your momentum and not make a profit. Be passionate about what you do and show up.
What are some tasks that you consider essential to your business?
To grow your business you MUST attend networking events. Well, that is a pretty broad statement and it may or may not hold a lot of weight. Sure you need to prospect for new clients, but if you’re attending networking events simply for the sake of attending one, are you growing your business? I do have some tips for how to become a networking guru and they may be tried-and-true or they may be new-to-you.
What I do know, as a business coach, is that you can’t operate a business in a vacuum. You also can’t spend so much time out of the office that you’re not taking care of business and serving your current clients. You need to strike a balance and you need to attend networking events that make sense.
How To Become A Networking Guru
I enjoy attending networking events and business meetings. I find them helpful, but I don’t look at them as the only way to grow my business. I also don’t put so much pressure on my attendance there that I walk away disheartened if I don’t close a deal. As a matter of fact, I NEVER attend an event with the idea of closing a deal. A networking event is a getting-to-know you opportunity. Walk in there with the knowledge that you can be a resource and you will find you have more success than those who walk in wanting to close the deal.
It doesn’t matter what meeting you attend, as long as you’re getting out of the office and meeting new people, right? No. You don’t want to attend a meeting, just to attend a meeting. Choose one that makes sense for you and your business. Your time is too valuable to waste.
Not everyone is a potential client, or maybe they are! Every person you meet is a potential colleague, but not necessarily a client. This means even the person you’re striking up a conversation with in line at the grocery store could be a colleague or client so it makes sense to be on your best behavior. Imagine if you’re yelling at a cashier and the next day you see the person who was in line behind you at a networking event? You will not be able to erase that first impression.
Your need to recite your elevator speech and share your business story with everyone you meet. Stop! You don’t. Let people get ot know, like and trust you before you begin the sales pitch. Be a resource. Ask about their business. Make the meeting about them, not you! Ask open-ended questions and steer away from religion or politics at an initial meeting.
Networking is about relationship building. How strong are your relationships?