There's never been a better time to STAND OUT. Imagine if you put as much energy into your current client as you do with constantly searching for new ones?
What if you took your 'marketing budget' and doubled down on your current clients?
You bought them a book they would benefit them?
You bought them a card or handwrote them a note to simply say "thank-you" for their business?
You showed up at their workplace with a "how to" guide you made them on google docs and got it bound at Office Works that might be able to help them? (or just physically mailed the thing if you don't want to show up).
All you need is to CARE more about the customer's needs than your own. That is the secret ingredient.
There might be three times as many perceived competitors, but right now, I'd estimate 95% of people don't even really care.
Let me share a couple of pertinent examples.
I have an event this week. I emailed the venue asking what the capacity was (I wanted to have the option to invite a few more people).
"Hi Hayden, The maximum capacity is 14 in a boardroom style which is what is on the running sheets I have sent you. Kind regards"
OK - the additional "which is what is on the running sheets I have sent you" is not necessary (subtly stating: read the running sheets!!) but hey...I can handle that.
So I then ask: "What if we switch the style of seating? Still desks but a different configuration? And also is there a different room with more capacity"
10 minutes later she replies: "Hi Hayden, This is the maximum with tables. Kind Regards"
At this stage, I'm a little frustrated that she is not really helping, and that she'd completely ignored the second part of my question.
I reply: "Hi Jess, are you able to please clarify my second question."
She comes back: "Hi Hayden, Unfortunately not this is the only room or else another room of the space capacity for this day. Kind regards"
If she was actually interested in what she is doing (or her client) the interaction would be completely different - I would hope.
(Don't get me started on the fact they're charging me $4 each for 2 bottles of water at the front either)
How about instead of the closed replies, she helps by asking: "what we could do is..." or "what do you require? How could I best help?"
This is the first (and last) time I will most likely use this venue.
I run over a dozen events each year. In 2018, this number will increase.
I wonder if she knew I was potentially worth $25,000+ to the business, if she would speak like this?
After my event, I'll send them a fairly direct email with some feedback too. Wonder what her boss will think?
But it's not just a once off.
Around 18 months ago, I had a similar lack of basic communication while visiting a bookshop.
Apparently not acknowledging customers is what you do in Toorak? The phone seemed too important and not even a nod was achievable.
I walked out, wondering if I had perhaps been visible?
I walked up the road and met a lady named, Ying - the exclusive stocker of my first book.
Ying, who I've developed a great relationship with, always asks what I'm reading. How I am. When I can bring more books in for her to sell and if she doesn't have a book I ask for her first question is always: "Can we order that for you? We can have it in a week".
I've spent at least $2,000 with Ying over the past year and it's where I do most of my personal book buying.
That first bookstore? It's gone (no surprises).
It's literally not even that hard.
On my wall at home, I have a bunch of cheesy sayings and motivational quotes. Included in that is a lanyard.
Inside the lanyard it says: "Make me feel important"
It's a constant reminder that the customer is NUMBER ONE and without him/her, no business can exist.
I hope this (long) post will highlight the importance (and ease) and which you can serve your customer to new levels - sometimes it's not even about going crazy...It's literally just a text saying: "Awesome work this morning - keep up the great work"
Seriously - how hard is that? You could do that right now.
Go ahead, pull out your phone and send a text to ten clients. (and if you've only got one client - treat them the exact same!)
Be front of mind, or be forgotten.