One of the many things I harp on about for business success is “knowing your audience”. Who actually pays your overheads? Do you know? If yes, then how did you find out? When I help people develop a solid foundation I take into account
(a) What product or service they offer.
(b) Who needs that produce/service the most?
(c) Are these potential customers aware of your business?
What tends to happen is the business owner looks at the situation from their perspective. They are selling this amazing product/service. They know exactly how it works and how it can help others. In their world any sensible business person will definitely need their help.
To be a little more precise they may even choose a particular audience who, in their view, will definitely need this product/service. Well why wouldn’t they! So this business owner invests lots in marketing etc. The results are reasonable. Sales increase somewhat, but actually not as much as was expected.
So let’s look at this from another angle. Who best to know what you need to change to sell more to your audience but the customers themselves. Have you talked to the companies you supply? Why do they buy from YOU? Do you know their thoughts and needs?
I bet, if you choose to contact your customers, person to person, and ask the question “Do we supply all you needs” the customer will categorically say NO. Your customers will soon let you know that you do not understand them. And how shocked would you be with that!!!
Why do you suppose there is such a lack of great communication? These days, with all our modern technology and means of contact I can see no excuse. Or, is it all these “mod cons” that’s causing the breakdown?
Ironically, it seems that larger companies have more potential for bad communication. They have access to all sorts of data and information. They know the latest trends. They can use analytics to know who exactly is doing what and when.
Yes, all of the above is available to businesses of all sizes however; the larger companies tend to use technology far more to the point of relying on it. They are not short of data and information about the visitors to their website are they? But what does it really tell us about our customers’ needs? The one vital piece of info all of this lacks is what the customers actually want.
There are a few ways to handle this situation. If you need to stick with technology you can do appropriate email marketing campaigns genuinely asking your clients what their real needs are. Ask them to share ideas on how you can better help them. For email marketing help check this Email Marketing – John Jelly
Ideally arrange to meet up with clients face to face. For me good old fashioned Networking is brilliant. Arrange to meet your customer for 1hr over a relaxed coffee. Find out how you need to change to meet their real needs. This will be worth a fortune.
If you think your client list is too long to do this, then STOP! Believe me, it’s not. Having a very long database that is not getting the very best help from you is of little use. A much shorter list of very satisfied customers is far more profitable. So break down the database into chunks. Take each chunk at a time and deal properly with them.
Proper understanding of what your customer wants and needs should be your priority – whatever it takes.