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Client knowledge can improve sales

Article written by Jannie Rossouw, Head: Sanlam Business Market

What was first – the chicken or the egg? In some way we are faced by the same challenge in business. Should you endeavour to develop a new product or service before finding a market for it, or first choose a target market and then align your products and/or services to meet its needs?

The identification of a niche market for your product and/or service helps you to see the trees (your niche market) from the wood (spectrum of all consumers). Some of the benefits of this approach are that your marketing and sales endeavours will be more profitable because you have a better understanding of the needs of your niche market, making it possible to customise your offering to exactly match their needs. You can then position your business as an expert in your industry.

You can use the data of your current clients to get a better understanding of your niche market profile. The following elements may be used to develop a profile of your ideal client:

  • income category
  • age
  • gender
  • interests
  • hobbies
  • occupation, and
  • geographical location.

To know your clients, you have to spend time with them, thus creating opportunities for engagement. To add value for clients is a sure way to vest a positive affinity towards your business and brand. You can use articles to illustrate your knowledge of the industry you operate in. These articles can also be used to teach clients to use the product, or to apply the service to their best advantage, but also to introduce more products or services to them. Make a point of also notifying your existing clients of special offers. It is also good business practice to get feedback from your existing clients about your product and/or service set and service experience. Use this feedback to improve your product/service offering and service delivery. By staying in the forefront with your clients, you in effect keep the ‘marketing noise’ of your competitors outside the hearing range of your clients.

‘I don’t care how much power, brilliance or energy you have, if you don’t harness it and focus it on a specific target, and hold it there, you’re never going to accomplish as much as your ability warrants.’ — Zig Ziglar (American author, salesman and motivational speaker)

To support business owners with the important task of business planning, Sanlam gives you free access to the book Your Annual Business Game Plan for Success, which provides an easy and straightforward framework needed to draft a well-crafted game plan that will create the positive change and growth necessary for business success. Go to www.sanlam.co.za/gameplan to download your free copy.

Sanlam is a proud partner of the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC).

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