The reading level for this article is Novice
Unless your product or service is one-of-a-kind, you’ve got competition. To beat them, you have to make sure you’re the key company, the one your customers turn to above all others. How do you do that if you’re new and small?
Try these strategies:
Use your size. You’re new, small and aggressive. Be more flexible than your competitors. Be willing to break self-imposed rules. (“We need 24 hours to fill large
orders.”) Promise personal attention-since you are the company, this shouldn’t
be difficult. For Chuck and I this is easy. We are the company so everyone that deals with us gets our “personal attention”.
Service. Serve the customer above everything else. In the overwhelming majority of cases, service, not price, makes the difference in getting an order and keeping a client for the long term. This means getting back to your customers. We always answer emails with 24 hours and many times before that. In addition, we always call customers back as quickly as possible.To often today, customer service is an afterthought. Make sure you don’t fall into this trap, otherwise you won’t be in business very long.
Stay in touch. In an age when even the smallest business can have cell phones, pagers, voice mail, fax machines and e-mail,there’s no excuse for not being on call for your customers. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a life. It just means you can respond to inquiries with little delay. Again, this just means to get back to people in a reasonable time frame based on their needs, not yours.
Sacrifice. Take the occasional hit on profit, lose a little sleep, do a little more without always sending an invoice. If you help a customer once or twice without looking for a check in return, you’ll be remembered. When it comes time for that customer to place the next rder, you’ll undoubtedly top the list. This is something we emphasize to our PFYS students during their calls to sellers. Help them, give them some advise and it will come back to you. This is part of doing business to give something back. You can’t always be looking at the dollar signs!
So give these strategies a try and rise above your competition!
Copyright 2004 DeFiore Enterprises