Posts Tagged ‘good business’

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The Importance of Strong Customer Relationships

In Business Buy Guide,Business Leads on January 7, 2011 by businessbuyguide Tagged: , ,

Good relationships are essential in business and sales. The stronger your relationships with your customers, the more likely they’ll refer your business to the people they know.

Make it a point to enhance your customer relationships every day. Don’t just say hi when they come in and goodbye when they go. The last thing you’d want to do is to make your customers feel like a statistic. People like to be appreciated, so take a few minutes of your time to do just that.

Strike up a conversation with your customers, but avoid talking about business. A non-business chat will make them feel comfortable and get them talking. And the more they talk to you, the more sales opportunities will come your way.

Start by getting to know the names of your customers, then make sure to address them by name. You can ask them how they’re doing today, how their weekend was, or if you can help them with anything. Make your presence known.

Another way to strengthen your customer relationships is to have a directory of all your customers’ birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions, such as their kids’ birthdays and graduation dates. Keep your ears open to pick up on any mentions of such upcoming events.

When it’s almost the date of the event, send a card. Your customers will be pleased that you remembered them on their special day, and this will only reinforce your existing relationship with them.

There are many reasons why you should focus on developing good relationships with your customers, but these are the two most important:

1.    People value excellent customer service. As long as you provide this, your customers will remain loyal to you. But once you cease to do so, your competitors will be able to swoop in and take them away. Remember, there is absolutely no substitute for excellent customer service. This is the only thing that matters the most to a customer (yes, even more than price).

2.    Good customer relationships are key to getting referrals. Think about it, why wouldn’t someone whom you treat with respect and provide with excellent customer service tell their family and friends about you?

Your customers are your most important assets. By nurturing your relationships with them, you boost your sales as well.

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5 New Year’s Resolutions for a Better Business

In Business Buy Guide,Business Leads on December 31, 2010 by businessbuyguide Tagged: , ,

Are you ready to experience your best business year yet? Make your 2011 amazing and grow your business by leaps and bounds by making these five New Year’s resolutions.

1.    I will direct my marketing efforts outside my comfort zone.

Try at least one marketing program next year. Consider direct mail, Google Adwords, or even podcasting! Sure, you’ll be in for a wild ride ahead, but the benefits you reap will be well worth it.

2.    I will listen to my gut more often.

Even if you’re learning from the most wealthy and influential business experts, keep in mind that they’re still human and that everyone makes mistakes. Their advice may not always work for your particular situation, or they may be having a bad day.

Try this exercise. Review your current strategies and see which ones worked best to bring you more clients, money, and success. It’s very likely that you’ll find a bit of serendipity and/or your intuition in each of these.

3.    I will earn and claim my bragging rights.

Throw all those unnecessary apologies and excuses away. Sentences such as, “I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but…” and “This is probably a silly question, but…” should never come out of your mouth ever again.

4.    I will test drive at least one piece of business advice that I normally resist.

When I first became a copywriter, I resisted the idea of self-promotion. I also refrained from buying a copywriting phrase book and from using a headline generator. Nowadays, I can’t imagine my life without promoting myself and without these tools. Little things do make a huge difference.

Of course, if someone suggests that you sell all your possessions and live in a camper van in the middle of nowhere, say no. Remember rule #2!

5.    I will honor myself to stay motivated and enthusiastic.

What do you need? Is it listening to music while you work, exercising in the mornings, or going to the movies every weekend?

What kind of schedule suits you the best? Do you prefer to work continuously with absolutely no interruptions or in shorter blocks of time? Do the kids and/or pets have to go to daycare for a few hours so you can concentrate better?

Articles

Why Following Up is More Important Than Generating New Leads

In Business Buy Guide,Business Leads on December 27, 2010 by businessbuyguide Tagged: , ,

One of the main reasons why small business owners often seek out new marketing strategies is because they think that the solution to slow sales is more leads. If you agree with this point of view, then have I got a shocker for you. According to the 2010 Lead Life Cycle Optimization study, over 80 percent of all leads generated by small businesses are never followed up with by a salesperson. Eighty percent! Can you believe that?

I went looking for these statistics not so long ago because I had a hunch that this was the cause of the sagging sales problem many businesses were having. Let me tell you about a couple of my own experiences…

Last year, I went car shopping. I usually use the same vehicle for as long as possible. My previous car was at the end of its life, so it was time for a new one. I visited a few dealerships, test drove four cars over four days, and made my purchase two weeks later. Guess how many salespeople bothered following up with me over that time period? Just one. I had told each dealer what I wanted in a car and left them my contact details. How hard could it have been for them to get back to me?

Here’s another story. This happened when I was 21. I was in search of an apartment and deliberately looked at seven different units, even though I already knew exactly what I wanted from the very beginning. Despite the fact that I filled out information cards and requested a follow up with each salesperson, only one called me back. I have a tip for all you sellers and realtors out there: follow up!

I’m sure you get the point by now. However, the real question here is not whether a problem exists or not, but why it is happening in the first place. I have some theories, and after training several salespeople, the same patterns emerge time and again:

•    You prioritize fresh leads
•    You intend to follow up but get too busy and eventually forget
•    You assume that leads which are a few days or weeks old are too old
•    Your days are too hectic for a regular follow-up routine
•    You’re not confident with your follow-up script or plan

Do any of these sound familiar? If so, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. That’s just how business is – you need to multitask and be constantly diligent to master everything.

The good news is, automated follow-up solutions are available for busy entrepreneurs like you. I suggest using a lead capture form along with an autoresponder series. Add some great customized copywriting and genuine promotional offers, and watch your sales figures grow!

Keep in mind that even something as seemingly unimportant as a follow-up call or email can mean the big difference between a new customer and a wasted lead.