At times it is easy to sit back, take the foot off the accelerator and watch the sales roll in, especially if you have been satisfied with your company’s recent sales performance. At some point you may even find that you have stopped providing what your customers want.
However, if you slack off too much (and stop paying attention to your customers), your competitors will soon catch up and eventually put you out of business.
Responding to Customer Needs
Take a look around. Many businesses have closed their doors due to the drop in consumer spending. For your company this translates into more potential customers. Yet in tough economic times it is going to take more than “thinking outside the box” and goodwill with existing customers to secure the survival of your business.
Therefore, today is the best time to make pivotal changes in your marketing efforts and boldly respond to the needs of your potential customers.
First, stop what you are doing right now and make a list of everything that you (and your competitors) do which potentially makes it hard for prospects to buy products and services from you. Then take a good hard look at both of these lists and brainstorm ways to win new customers and keep them.
Granted, this is not an easy task.
Most small businesses will continue to do what they have always done – guess or assume what they think their customers need. However, no matter how challenging it is to ask the hard questions and re-engineer your strategy, I guarantee it will be a whole lot less painful and stressful than closing your doors.
For example, I had a married couple come to me once for advice and business coaching. Both the marriage and the business were at a breaking point.
The husband turned and said to me “I don’t understand it. I do everything humanly possible for my wife and she doesn’t appreciate me and I don’t think I can possibly do anything more to satisfy my customers – they are never happy and always want more. What can I possibly do?”
My answer to this age old dilemma applies to him, his marriage, and to you in your business right now. “Sounds like you are doing a lot. Too bad it’s everything but the very thing that your partner and customers need most.”
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