4 Ways to Charm Your Customers Before Your Competition Does

Keeping customers is considerably less expensive than finding new customers. Here are ways to keep yours:

1. Being inconsistent. Small business owners are bad at creating this kind of consistency because most have learned–often by necessity–to fly by the seat of their pants. That’s an especially bad idea when it comes to sales, he says. Owners tend to do sales and marketing when business is slow, and then stop as soon as business picks up, thus cutting off the pipeline that created the business in the first place and setting things up for another slow cycle. Instead, you should always be working on sales and marketing, even when business is good.

2. Staying silent.

A small business will lose 10 percent of its influence with a customer for every month that customer doesn’t hear from the business, Moltz says. In this crowded marketplace, you’re easily forgotten, and that’s a problem.

“Most customers keep a ‘maybe’ pile of about three things that they’ll use when they’re ready to buy,” Moltz says. “If you’re not in that ‘maybe’ pile, they won’t contact you.”

3. Failing to build a relationship. Thus, it’s a good idea to contact your key customers and prospects at least once a month. But not with a heavy-duty sales pitch, Moltz says. Instead, “Give them something of value, preferably by email.”

4. Not listening to what they’re saying about you. “Ninety-two percent of customers trust recommendations from people they know,” Moltz says. “And 70 percent trust recommendations from people they don’t know, such as reviews on Amazon.” That means you need to know what people are saying about you on sites like Yelp and take action or respond when appropriate.

“Whether you think they are or not, people are talking about you online,” Moltz adds. “They’re probably doing it right now.” […]

Read more via Why Most Businesses Lose Customers (And How to Keep Yours) | Inc.com.

What people are saying

To thrive in today’s business environment, companies must transform their businesses preemptively, not defensively.

It is not surprising that many companies find their strategies and business models increasingly out of step with their environments. See more at: http://www.innothinkgroup.com

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Jim Woods is president of The Jim Woods Group. A management consulting firm. Go here to see his work www.jimwoodsgroup.com. He advises and speaks to organizations large and small on how to increase top line growth in times of uncertainty and complexity. Some of his speaking and consulting clients include: U.S. Army, MITRE Corporation, Pitney Bowes, Whirlpool, and 3M. See more at his website www.jimwoodsgroup.com.

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