“Without people, a business is just a building full of stuff” – Jon Naylor
That’s one of my favourite quotes and I use it a lot when talking to business owners. Many don’t appreciate that their people are their business, and vice versa.
What I’m also getting at with that quote, though, is that as well as employees, customers are key people in the success of any business. Now I’m going to be a little unorthodox here so bear with me. The customer isn’t always right!
Grow your business well – The customer can be very wrong!
Today’s business growth advice? There are some customers out there that you can do without and there’s nothing wrong with avoiding them. As much as customers are critically important to a business, some can be quite the opposite. An over demanding client, pushing for more and more discount, shorter and shorter lead times and taking 120 days to pay their bills is detrimental to your business. This kind of customer costs your business far more than most and you just don’t need them.
There really is nothing wrong with telling a difficult customer “actually I don’t want your custom thanks very much”. As a relatively young sales and marketing guy, when I learned this it went against everything I knew but after a couple of times it was actually extremely refreshing to be able to say “no”. In many cases, you will find this in itself causes them to improve their ways and they become a good customer.
Support with business growth – How to treat your best customers
Ah the good customer! Like pure gold, you must treat them like royalty and make them feel like they are your one and only customer. A good customer will pay on time, come back time after time and their recommendation to others is worth a thousand glossy adverts!
Think about it, don’t you get a good feeling from recommending that great new restaurant with the lovely food and cracking service to your friends? It’s basic human nature to want to share good stuff with people and see them get the same great experience you did.
“Customer service is simply understanding your customers’ expectations and giving them a couple of percent more” – Jon Naylor
Another favourite quote of mine. If you know your customer expects to receive 10% discount, give them 12% and they will be completely satisfied. Don’t give them 25% when you know they expect 10% because you’ve just given away 13% unnecessarily – that’s your profit, hang on to it.
Focus on the good stuff, get rid of the rest
As far as your customers are concerned, focus your efforts on the best ones. So your best to ditch the rubbish ones, hang onto the good ones with all your might and you’ll be more likely to grow your business successfully and profitably. Much faster than if you drag all that dead wood around with you.
Need help? Just ask…