We all talk about our image in the eyes of our customers as though that was a single entity. In fact there are four parts to that image, and each part must be visible or your message will not be heard, and that can mean that your business will suffer.
An earlier post described the “know, like and trust” aspect of the image that you and your business needs to cultivate, and we’ve described the difference between ‘selling’ someone and establishing the conditions that encourage people to want to buy from you. The rest of this article is about another aspect of your business image.
We know that your perception is your reality, and that your customer’s perception becomes your businesses’ reality.
Regardless of whether you sell a product or service, you need to instruct your customers on what they need to do to maximise the benefit they receive from having used your product or service, and that means covering three different aspects, and an additional perspective that is missed at least 99% of the time.
The first aspect is that you must give your customers the detailed instructions that enable them to get the maximum benefit – how to best use your product or service. Tell them exactly what they need to do, when they need to do it, and how. This is the easy bit, and it just requires you to transfer your knowledge to your customer.
The second aspect is that you need to reinforce your marketing message in that you must inspire your customer that they have made a great decision. Tell them again about the benefits they are likely to receive as a result of their decision to buy from you, and how they can ensure that those benefits can be realised. For example give them some tips or shortcuts that will provide additional value. your goal is to make them really pleased that they bought from you rather than the guy down the street.
Then you must connect your product or service with your customer achieving their higher purpose. That doesn’t mean that all your customers want to save the world, but they will want to leave their children a legacy, and yes, some of them will want to leave the world a better place for having been here.
Throughout these posts you will find many tips that will make your work easier and more productive, all you have to do is follow the guidelines. That will improve your profits, and most likely reduce your effort – working ‘with’ your customers is more effective than trying to trap them into buying something.
Can you imagine what difference an additional 10% or 20% or more profit will make to your family’s lifestyle? That’s what you can achieve if you read and follow our posts. No, that’s not a marketing ‘spin’, that’s the result of 30+ years of study and hard work that I’m sharing, plus the 40+ years that the other contributors have shared.
If you have been paying attention you will have noticed that so far there have only been three aspects mentioned. Now its time for the last piece of the puzzle.
Remember I said that it is the hidden piece? Its hidden because your customer doesn’t see it, only you know it is there. Your customer is aware of the effect though. The hidden piece is your plan to make this all happen in the first place. Leaving your customer experience up to chance means that they may or may not enjoy the experience of dealing with your business. Having a fully worked out ‘Customer Care Experience’ plan and implementing it means that your customers are likely to want to come back.
All four aspects are important, though the last one is arguably the most important one of all. The problem is that 99% of businesses do not have a plan, and the opportunity for you is that 99% of businesses do not have a plan. Creating and implementing a Customer Care Experience that maximises the benefit your customers receive as a result of buying from you will create solid, long-term relationships with your target market, and that’s great for business!
Do you have an idea that you’d like to share? Just leave a comment and tell us what you think.
Every business needs to be able to take advantage of any good opportunities that appear – but how do you recognise one in time to do anything about it?
You are equipped with a system that filters out extraneous information, allowing you to concentrate on the important stuff. Look up ‘Reticular Activation System’ (RAS) if you would like more information. The relevance for this topic is that often we filter out things we really wanted to know about – have you even made a major purchase, thinking at that time that this is an attractive and unusual item only to see several on the way home immediately after the purchase?
If so then you have experienced your RAS suddenly allowing sightings of that item through the filter. Obviously they were around before you bought one, you just were not aware of them.
That helps us today because the first step to recognising an opportunity is to make sure that the information is not filtered out by your RAS. You achieve this by making sure that you have a list of your goals and by reviewing them on a daily basis. If you do that correctly then anything relating to your goals will make it through the filter and you will at least become aware of it.
Then the real business of spotting the opportunity starts! You should develop your own list of questions, so what follows is an example to get you going.
First, ask “What” – What can this new opportunity do? What can it be used for? What caused it? What can be done to improve it? These questions will help you start identifying the basic opportunity.
Next, ask “Who” – Who would benefit from this? Who might help you develop the idea further? Who do you need on your team? Most opportunities need more than a single person to implement.
Then as “Where” – Where will this be best received? Where would it makes sense to place the factory, the sales centre and the remainder of your ‘location infrastructure’? Bear in mind that ‘location’ includes the real world and the internet.
Now consider “When” – Is there a limited window of opportunity to sell this? How long will it take to get to market? It might be a good idea but if you can’t get it to market in time then you would be better off putting your efforts into something else.
Finally, consider “How” – How will you source the raw materials? How will you deliver the goods or service? Which payment methods will you accept? How will you reward those who assist you? There are probably more ‘how’ questions than any of the other sections, and every new opportunity will have its own unique list.
A little practice will enable you to see and react to opportunities in record time. Don’t be discouraged if you discover that you missed an opportunity – instead figure out why you missed it and what you can do so that in future you will be able to see those kinds of opportunities in time to do something about it.
I hope this helps, it can’t be the exact list you need for a specific opportunity, though if you’d like some help then please get in touch. These ideas are intended to give you the background that you need to be able to build your own list of questions, and to develop your own habits that will enable you to identify every opportunity in a timely manner.
Has this helped? Do you have any other ideas that others would benefit from? Leave a comment and let us know!