Are you the only business in your field? Chances are, ‘hell to the no.’ Does this mean you can’t make money? The answer to this is also a resounding NO! Yes it’s true it helps to have a point of difference a certain Je ne sais quoi, but if you are still developing your ‘it’ factor don’t stress. Pleasing or being able to please everyone is going to be near impossible, however being able to serve your customers with your knowledge and not just your expertise is very possible.
Have you taken the time to see what your immediate surroundings can offer your customers? Whether you’re an Accountant, hairdresser or dog groomer, your customers are your lifeblood. Do they know how important they are to you, how much you are there for them?
When you have a customer, often the first thing we say is “hello, how can I help you today?” They might ask you for a service or a product that you can’t fulfil. Do you take this opportunity to point them in the right direction, knowing that Jessica down near the roundabout has exactly what they need, or do you simply say “Sorry we don’t stock that / or we don’t do that here!” This is your option to advertise the kind of business you are running, and that includes the values you hold.
No, I’m not sending send all your customers elsewhere, not at all. I am simply saying if you know you can not provide what they are looking for, what harm is there in sending them to the business down the road, that can? There was no sale to be made in this transaction, however, that customer will remember how happy you were to help them, and how accommodating to their needs you were. It’s that lasting impression that will bring them back, it’s that ‘customer service’ that they will tell their friends about and it’s that kind of advertisement that is so valuable, and guess what it cost you nothing!
I would suggest you go out into your business surroundings, find out what is on offer and foster a business relationship with them, it doesn’t have to be hard work a simple conversation is often all it takes. Share the experience with them, ‘I had a customer the other day, they were looking for (X) and I know this is something you do, are you happy for me to refer them to you?’ No business owner is going to say no, not in their right mind. You could also tell them exactly what you are about and what you offer, this will, in turn, encourage them to share this information with their customers.
Become a solution to your customer’s problems, don’t be a dead end, they will remember and word of mouth is everything to small business!
“The goal is not to be successful, the goal is to be valuable. Once you’re valuable instead of chasing success, it will attract itself to you.” – Bossbabe
Let us work together to leave a better future for those whom will come after us.