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Teach your customers and prospects

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Teach your customers and prospects

teachyourcustomers2 While you may live and breathe your business and industry, never assume others do (you know what assumptions do – right?). Teaching your customers and prospects about your business, your products or your service is a very smart thing to do – it’s a way to turn so-so customers into evangelists and prospects into customers. The more they know, the more they are likely to buy and talk about you.

A savvy small business owner understands how to engage the customer and make preemptive strikes to answer all questions before they are asked. Which seems better – being proactive or reactive?

In a face to face encounter, it’s easier to explain to a customer why he/she should choose Product A over Product B. If the customer or prospect trusts you they usually take your recommendation. If you say that small business brand of batteries will last longer than big business brand, they’ll believe you.

Take my beauty advisor for example, on a recent visit for a facial treatment, she explained to me why a particular beauty product she was using on my face was better than the one I was currently using. (I had been using my beauty products for ten years and really liked them). After she explained to me the benefit and value I would receive from her beauty product, I then accepted her recommendation because I trusted her judgment and expertise.   

Now, had she not taken the time to educate me on the why’s, she would have lost out on the sale.  At the end of the day, I made an informed decision because I got to experience and know my beauty advisor’s product more thoroughly. I didn’t feel pressured into a sale.

Educating your customers and prospects should become part of your small business DNA. Use every opportunity you get, whether it’s face to face, in print or electronic – make every customer interaction count.  

Want to score big? If your product or service doesn’t suit your customers let them know that too – if you do this, you’ll earn the biggest brownie point ever and you’ll  impress them now until eternity. Not to worry, it always comes back because the next time your customer or prospect needs a solution who do you think is first on their call list?

Not sure how to go about educating your customers and prospects. For starters, here are some simple but effective ways to try:

  1. Signage – ensure it contains name of the product, reason to buy and what differentiates it from the competitors
  2. Staff and evangelists – don’t assume your staff and the people in your corner know the ins and outs of your product or service. Make it your job to train and prep them so they can engage the customer intelligently. Teach them how to make selling suggestions early (even for complementary product/service), teach them how to convey the value and narrow the choices for the customer
  3. Seminars, workshops, clinics, tasting etc. – these are opportunities to share more in-depth information outside of the typical retail interaction. It also gives you way more face time and an opportunity to really engage your customers or prospects. An often under utilized activity but highly valuable.
  4. Guides – a simple to follow one or two pager guide on everything about the product or service and how it proposes to solve a problem.
  5. Question & Answers (Q&A) – the trusty Q&A works every time. Gather the most frequently asked questions and make the responses. Create a one pager as a hard or soft copy document or both. A Q& A is always useful on your website.
  6. How to videos – in these days of YouTube, this is not that difficult. Determine what you want to teach and set about creating an information rich video.

Could these work for you? Have more ideas or want to share what has worked for you, please join the conversation.

By: Dorothy Vernon-Brown

Posted in Small Business MarketingComments (2)

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