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Business Development & Strategy Session

In our world of give me, give me, give me, people have grown accustomed to hand outs and entitlement. In some cases, I am totally for this, but in the eyes of a business owner, executive, or manager you have to be really be careful to walk a thin line.

For example, let’s say your local grocery store was planning to raise prices across the board, over 8%. If you, the customer, have never been given any real value, or been treated like an MVP with regards to service what do you think would happen with the increase? I would think a huge drop in traffic, as well as sales and profitability. Especially if the customers could not grasp any reason for the increase. If you are going to ask more from your customers, you need to ask yourself what am I giving in return–its called reciprocity. Your new approach might be, to better serve our customers we are going to be have a company-wide makeover to show are gratitude and appreciation. One of the first items on the agenda is to stay open 3 hours later, secondly, our produce and meat departments will have fresh products delivered daily, thirdly, we will complete a total store remodel for better appearance and customer satisfaction and lastly, we will hire a security patrol so you can shop as late as you like while feeling safe and secure. At this point, would you agree that you just added huge value in the customers eyes? Yes, indeed! Would you also agree that you now have the right to raise your prices considering the value you have just given? Absolutely!

No longer can companies, brands or organizations grow sales and profits without demonstrating value for the customer, first. The offering of value to the consumer has to be part of the business operations. Part of your business manifesto.

Take a hard look at the company Zappos. It’s no secret that companies have been selling shoes online for many years, but what Zappos brought to the e-commerce business was new, fresh and customer satisfaction driven. Zappos understood that focusing on the shoe was not the answer, but dedicating their business model to focusing on the customer and their experience is a huge reason for their success and market visibility. They positioned themselves as a culture that believes the customers experience is what is most important.

Lets take another example, what if you were the owner of a plumbing business and you really wanted to acquire more sales/leads. Think out of the box for a moment, could you advertise by direct-mail to 500 homes in your companies zip code and offer them real value? Not only would you be thinking out of the box but you would also be offering an enormous amount of service related value without having even asked for the sale. How often does this happen to the customer, very rarely?

What if you sent out a marketing advertisement by direct mail that solved the customers needs. What if you direct mailed 500 customers in your business zip code and gave 5 tips on how to hire a great and reliable plumber. This would be extremely valuable. You can never expect that your customer knows everything. Providing 5 tips would be informative and invaluable. Them hiring a plumber is not their normal routine. Each tip offered would give insight and solved questions consumers have about the process of hiring a plumber. Then on top of that, you advertise a free consultation with a 10% off coupon in the same direct mail piece. Wow! Not only did you go the extra mile to solve a need, but secondly, you promoted yourself at the same time and offered a discounted price. In the customers eyes, that is value at its finest. Now you have 5-10% of the homes you marketed calling your company for an estimate because you took the time to not only market your business and services, but you gave great value and customer satisfaction upfront. This is what separates good companies from GREAT companies. If you really want to raise sales and create a bigger profit, think of the value you can add in the market place first, then watch your bank account grow.

I used the example of a grocery store and a plumber but please understand if you rely on customers for revenue any business can do this. The principles and strategies are universal.

To Your Greatness,
KM

“Get Into The Game”

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