Five ways to win and keep customers

Winning new business in these challenging economic conditions requires a great deal of skill and determination. As we begin to emerge from the economic downturn, winning and retaining customers is key to the success of businesses. Here are five essential business strategies to help give you a competitive advantage.

Change the dynamic of your client relationships

The global financial crisis has been crippling for a number of Australian market sectors. As a result, many clients have fallen into receivership and are unable to pay off their invoices. Most companies faced with this situation would write off the bad debt. But instead of doing what most companies do, you can help these firms by using yout networks to find companies to either acquire or fund their businesses. Instead of being an infuriated creditor, you could become their savior by connecting your clients with companies that could potentially save their business. As a result your debt is repaid and your clients are retained.

Create several pressure points and boost sales

Sales and marketing are two vital facets in any business. Performed and executed successfully, it ensures that your business is seen and heard. If you want to win new business and increase sales, it is important that you create multiple pressure points. This refers to using all manners of marketing approaches to reach out to clients. Advertising campaigns, radio, television, e-newsletters, expos and brochures are all examples of pressure points. Using these integrated method helps get your company's name out and keeps you on the forefront of clients' minds. Remember that cost effectiveness is critical in any marketing activity so ensure that you get more than one quote and have a strong understanding of where you will see a return on your investment before committing your budget.

Truly understand your customers' pain points

Businesses that have a clear value proposition and innovate as much as possible in order to solve customers' problems are in a position that helps them beat the competition and come out on top. It is important that you approach your customers and all your sales calls as an exercise in trying to discover their "pain." It also important to come equipped with a solution to solve their problems. This level of approach will put you and your business in an advantageous position and further builds a rapport with your customers.

Keep your business plan and relationships relevant to the market climate

A business plan is like a map that helps you get to your business destination. The secret of a good business plan is to keep it short, simple and relevant to your market. The nature of your business will constantly need redesigning in order to adapt to the economic climate. Certain projects or fees may need to be kept on hold, payment terms may have to be extended and sales targets may need to be altered to ensure that your business is acclimatised to the market conditions. Tightening your belt however doesn't mean disregarding new business leads. You can still work closely with new customers but the key is to be honest and clear on what you can and can't deliver. Establishing simple habits such as weekly updates, exchanging notes on projects and progress and generally "caring" are approaches that also pay off.

The glass is half-full - staying positive

There are a lot of positive aspects that have come out of the downturn that are often overlooked and seldom discussed. One key aspect is that it has brought businesses back to reality and more importantly, back to basics. Some of Australia's local talent that once migrated to look for better opportunities have come back to the country and are now working in the domestic markets. Recruitment companies have adopted a more stringent approach when it comes to recommending talent for certain positions; filtering the best candidates through. Another positive result of the recession is the historically low prices. From airline travel to travel deals through to housing, stock and gas prices. All these low prices enable customers to respond to your products and services with greater speed and efficiency. The notion that  your businesses is paralysed during tough times needs to be discarded. As an entrepreneur there is a great deal that is still within your control.

Connect with us to receive updates throughout the day:

Like us on Facebok Follow us on Twitter

Dun and Bradstreet AustraliaTop of page Dun & Bradstreet Australia Pty Ltd 2015 | D&B Small Business    *About Us    *Sitemap    *Advertise    *Privacy    *Terms & Conditions