101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas
USE YOUR CUSTOMERS’ TIMING
Sometimes it is difficult to know the best time to do something. This is true of anything in life: when should you apply for a new job, move to the country, or just broach the subject of what colour the living room should be painted with your partner? With customers we always seem to have a sense of urgency. We not only want an order, we want it soon, or even right now. This may be understandable, but it reflects a focus on us, not on them.
Information is the key to choosing the right time. An early boss of mine once made a light-hearted comment to the effect that he had got himself a pay rise by saying it was a leap year and he had to work harder. I stored the remark away for two years until another leap year came along, and then reminded him of it. I got a laugh and small extra rise. With customers the information you glean and act on may be different, but effect can be similar.
This from company selling office furniture…
It is often helpful to customer relations if you involve yourself to agree in your customers’ lives. You need to think about whether it is useful to send them a Christmas card or something on their birthday, whether to mention a work-related anniversary you know about (maybe they have been at the organization for 10 years, or it is 100 years since the business was started). It may be useful to note other things that come up in conservation too. It’s nice to able to ask at the next meeting, “How did your son do in that exam?” or “Did you have a good holiday in Crete?”
But one event in your customers’ lives is the key to sales success. It is the timing of their financial year and the budgeting that goes with it. Find out when this is (and perhaps something of how the budgeting process works), and it can help your timing very specifically. You can then consider: a purchase best suggested ahead of the New Year, to mop up funds in this year’s budget is in place? Mention your thinking, and you’ll be seen as fitting your suggestions to the realities of your customer’s situation, rather than just pushing for an order now.
- The starting point of all such things is questions. Do not forget to ask.
- Keep clear notes. Sometimes information may not prove useful for some weeks or months, but you want to remember and not waste the opportunity it presents.