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Marketing Viewpoint by Ruth Winett

Seven Tips for Cultivating Great Customers

 

Google lists a whopping 83.9 million articles on customer satisfaction: how to measure it and what to do when things go wrong. However, great customer relationships don't spring up automatically. You need to cultivate them.

  • Come prepared--thoroughly research companies and identify the key players before engaging with prospects. Identify current trends and issues in their markets.
  • Help prospective customers articulate their needs. Prompt them through skillful questioning.
  • Promise only what you can reasonably provide. Unrealistic promises lead to disappointment.
  • Do not begin working on assignments until you have agreed on goals, methods, outcomes, schedules, and prices. This will help you structure successful engagements and prevent mission creep.
  • Gain buy-in from all key players so that you will receive the data and the support you need, when you need it. How can you customize a product or service for a customer if you don't know how they will use it?
  • Thank customers for their business at the end of the engagement.
  • Stay in touch. Tell past customers and clients about new services or products. Send them useful tips and articles just to be helpful.

Ideally, customers tell you what they need and why. In addition, they promptly provide the background information you need. Ideal customers do not make arbitrary changes to the project or the schedule. As a vendor, you have to do your part. It takes hard work to develop great customer relationships. This can be your goal for 2016.

We can will help you identify and research potential customers.

 

Copyright © 1/16 Ruth Winett. All rights reserved.

 

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