Chances are that you have read countless articles, books and have even attended seminars about business in general or in a specialized area like sales, customer service etc. This is part of your learning, and right beside your goal to strengthen your business. However, sometimes you need to know what-not-to-do so you can save more money. Here are 10 mistakes which you might be making.
- ASSUMING YOUR CUSTOMERS
Can you judge a book by its cover? Well, the general consensus is that you can’t and should not especially if you’re a business person. For instance, you can judge a customer through your first interaction and you might say “I don’t think this is a genuine customer, only wasting my time” rather than doing that, try understanding every customer and contemplate the reason if there is no sale. Dismiss your judgment and try learning more about your potential customers, take a leap of sales-oriented-faith and have fun.
- FOLLOWING UP WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS A TAD LATE
This is a world of fierce competition and customers who have a lot of alternatives, unless you are selling something you have imported from MARS, chances are that your competition is also selling something similar. The key is, RESPONSE TIME. People email for inquiries about your product or service, they are your potential customers. If you don’t reply them back within a suitable period of time (which is immediately) they will simply go to someone else. Yes folks, replying within 24 hours isn’t enough! You need immediate response giving your customers the impression that you are ready to serve.
ASSUMING THAT A RUDE CUSTOMER WILL NEVER BUY
Some people are generally rude and are honest in presenting their thoughts. Obviously, they do not expect the same honesty in return, and especially when they are trying buy something. It’s imperative that you believe in the old saying “the customer is always right”
Some people are just having a bad day, you can turn their day around with a few witty remarks or using your positive attitude to genuinely help them buy. They might ask you silly personal questions like “Do you go to the gym?” or “I have a friends daughter who looks exactly like you” or “Are you sure this is the right business for you?”
It is always better to ignore such people and get on with your sales pitch. Don’t let anyone discourage you from your main objective. You are smarter than that.
- BEING ARROGANT WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS
People want more than just a product or service; they need to feel that you care. If are snippy with your customers, that will not work well in the long run. Maybe what you are selling is doing pretty well, but that will build a FRIENDLY brand. The longevity of your business is not dependent on one sale, no sir! You need customers who come back to you. You don’t have to take your customers out for lunch, (unless you’re a real-estate person), simply take interest in them, and make them feel special.
- NOT TRUSTING YOUR STAFF
You can’t do everything by yourself, even Geralt of Rivia needs some help now and then. Your customers will have issues and they will contact you, if you are solely handling customer queries, this will take a huge chunk of motivation out of you. Instead, train your staff to do that. Train them in the dark arts of customer service, teach them to handle each situation and make your customers happy, this is a great way to ensure a repeat business. You can keep a keen eye on your staff, delegating responsibilities to them does not mean that you should stop reviewing them. Form compliance and train them to follow the rules of your business. don’t make these mistakes
- FLEXIBLE HOURS…AND YOU
Who doesn’t want a balanced life? But business is not fond of the 9-5 regime; your customers can have a stomach ache and decide to contact you at 3am via email asking you something about your product of service. The level of competition has made it that difficult, because if you don’t reply back, your competitors will and that weakens your stance in the market. Obviously you cannot stay up 24 hours a day but do try answering customer queries during the weekends.
- TAKING TOO LONG TO MAKE DECISIONS
“SPEED” is the word, business is fast and relentless. Taking too long to make decisions can hurt your business badly. For instance, you are operating your business solo and need someone to handle the content for your website, your handling sales, website content, customer service, seo, social media accounts etc. There is a limit when it comes to your productivity. Do not wait for opportunities to come by, hire someone now. Same goes for sponsorship opportunities, if you don’t take it, someone else will. Trust your gut, it will point you in the right direction.
- YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION IS HARD LOCATE
Your contact information should be easily visible to your customers. People get frustrated when they are unable to find phone numbers on your website or your email. Even your most loyal customers will give at one point and go to your competition. Make sure that your customers find it convenient to contact you.
- USING BAD QUALITY MARKETING MATERIAL
Every word on your page tells your customers about your brand and it eventually becomes a vital part in your customers buying decision. Use top-quality material. There is no alternative.
The most difficult thing to do in business is to take advice from others. However, this is how the ball rolls. All of us learn something from others and later on make it our own, you can be inspired of a concept and then create something of your own by personalizing it. Intelligent business people learn from other people’s mistakes. Look around you, you will find plenty of examples, learn from them and apply them, long term success is right around the corner.