THE creation of wealth and competitive advantage are key to ensuring your business is secure in an increasingly shifting global marketplace.
There are huge changes taking place in all markets and it is important to keep in touch with your existing customers in order to retain business and ensure that their needs are being met on an on-going basis.
Really listening to your customers can keep your business ahead of the competition and give you the edge.
In an increasingly competitive world, many businesses are totally reliant upon a few local customers. The balance however, has to be struck between being too reliant upon a handful of local customers and developing new opportunities.
In order to safeguard your future, the strategy must be to broaden your customer base locally, nationally and increasingly internationally.
To do this it is important to allocate a regular amount of time to generate new business while ensuring that current customers are looked-after properly.
It is very important to develop a database of potential customers and identify the decision-makers in the organisations and then all promotional activity should be directed to that individual.
The first stage is profiling your potential clients’ needs – you are solving their problems not selling them something they don’t need.
It is important to look at your competition and decide what makes you different. What are the benefits of using your service or product? In any promotional activity this should be projected – it is easy to overlook that people don’t actually buy the products and services, but the benefits that they bring.
Many businesses focus upon developing new customers and forget to look after existing clients. Always have a customer retention strategy. A good simple low-cost method is to annually write to existing customers asking their opinion on how well your company performed in dealing with their enquiry, any improvements which could be made to the range of services or products that you offer, and would they recommend the company to others.
Finally, an extremely useful tool to develop new business is to obtain testimonial letters from satisfied clients as they are invaluable in closing the sale.
Happy customers can be a very effective sales team. Get them to work for you.
:: Carole White is business support manager at Tedco. If you require any support or advice, please call Tedco on 0191 428 3300, email email@example.com or visit us at www.tedco.org