Article written by Jannie Rossouw, Head: Sanlam Business Market
Most of the time our actions speak louder than our words when we want to make a lasting and positive impression on a customer, or a prospective customer. It is also a reality that one action has the ability to ruin a good reputation and client experience. This article will give mention to a couple of ideas to consider which, if implemented diligently, may convince more clients to buy from you.
We do not have to be the cheapest in the market, but there is a place for what I will call strategic pricing. Examples include:
- deep discount on selected products for a limited time or as long as stock lasts;
- buy 2 products and get the third one free;
- bundling products and services associated with one product or service (from a customer’s perspective it is easier to justify a single upgrade than it is to consider purchasing multiple elements as part of an upgrade decision).
- Superior service or product delivery
Social media forums are creating platforms for clients to speak their mind about our business. It is mostly service delivery and product or service quality which are scrutinised. Are we sure that our customers have a consistently good experience from the moment they enter our business premises, while they shop, when they pay for their merchandise and when we render after sales services? These are all touch points to exceed client expectations.
We might take this element as a given, but if a person`s CV states that they have certain skills or experience, it is no guarantee that they will be able to deliver the output you expect of them. Invest the time, effort and money to upskill your staff continuously. This will enhance the reputation of your business and attract new talent to your business. If we can get this right, we may become the “go-to place” in our industry.
Know your competition
If we choose to ignore our competition, they might be eroding our client base without us even knowing it. Keep an ear on the ground for new developments, sales, product/service innovation and advertisements. Forewarned is fore-armed as the saying goes.
Think of the things we can do to make it convenient for clients to choose us for their next purchase.
- Can we offer free delivery?
- Do we have online purchase capability?
- Is it possible to provide longer warranties?
- Can we schedule appointments with customers at a time convenient for them and do we arrive on time?
- Is it possible to customise our product/service offer?
- Is our location at a convenient place from a customer’s perspective?
Do we speak with a “forked tongue” or are we clear in our marketing and promotion messaging? Customers are easily disappointed when they respond to an advertisement and want to purchase the product or service, and it differs from the advertisement; i.e. they cannot get what they understood the product or service was. It is wise to always be factually correct when marketing a product of service. Clients need to get exactly what was advertised.
In the end it all boils down to what we do and not what we say we do. This quote by Palmer Luckey (American businessman) summarises it very well: “Don’t be afraid to convince yourself that your business is incredible, but don’t expect others to be convinced without solid data to back it up. Ideas can be a worth a lot, but they are usually not. Execution is everything.”
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 straight forward framework needed to draft a well-crafted game plan that will create the positive change and growth necessary for business success
Go to www.sanlamgameplan.co.za to download your free copy.