I get a lot of these enquiries: How do I get new customers? Today’s customers are savvy. They do their homework and it takes more than an attractive offer to get them to bite. Many of yesterday’s pushy and aggressive sales tactics no longer hold water. More so than ever before, customers are selecting vendors based on the strength of their customer service. Strong relationships are key to a company’s ability to land lucrative, high-value customers. Consumer psychologists are telling us that your customers evaluate far more than your business’s product or service: they evaluate you and whether they like you.
Here are three tips to help you strengthen your customer acquisition skills.
1. Honesty is always the best policy
Whether you are a small or big fish in the pond, trust is the foundation of all strong customer relationships. It’s critical that companies be honest about their capabilities. When businesses employ dirty tricks or manipulation tactics such as limited-time offerings, they rapidly erode the trust of customers.
Customers must be confident that you care more about them and their needs than your pocketbooks. Honesty is always the best policy. For example, customers respect the honest disclosure of product flaws. If there was a mistake made, own it and fix it. Conversely, if there is a new product that is brilliant, let your current and long-standing customers know. They want to know you are thinking of them.
2. Don’t disparage your competitors
Focus on your own strengths and competencies. Salespeople have traditionally latched on to cutthroat tactics. They’ve tended to be quick to criticize and defame their competitors in order to tout the supremacy of their own products and services. This tactic frequently backfires. If you say your competitor is low quality and unreliable, your potential client can’t help but associate those traits with you. That’s why it’s always best to highlight your own strong-points and expertise as opposed to belittling your competitors.
Far too often, salespeople dominate conversations with their customers. The most effective sales professionals listen more than they talk. They observe auditory, visual and physical cues as a means of better understanding their customers. They also become problem solvers. Instead of pushing products and services towards customers, they collaborate with customers to determine how to best meet their needs. In doing this they also strengthen the company from a service and product development perspective.
Your customers are the lifeblood of your organization. In our increasingly competitive landscape, landing new high-value customers is more challenging than ever. Strong customer relationships are mission-critical.
Nadine Greiner, Ph.D. provides Executive Coaching and Human Resources solutions. Her mission is to make the executive experience exceptionally enjoyable and effective. She believes that the world needs great leaders, and has dedicated her career to helping them.
As an organization psychologist and former corporate CEO, Dr. Nadine understands the pressures and demands executives face. She offers her clients the high expertise that only comes with three decades of consulting success, and a dual Ph.D. in Organization Development and Clinical Psychology. Dr. Nadine is an in-demand speaker, teaches in doctoral programs, and coaches other consultants. She is the author of two books: ‘The Art of Executive Coaching: Secrets to Unlock Leadership Performance’, and of ‘Stress-less Leadership: How to Lead in Business and in Life’. amazon.com/author/nadinegreiner