Ten tips for retaining and attracting customers in times of turmoil

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  1. Be seen to be improving and moving: No one wants to work with stagnating companies. Even a small change to your marketing can reinvigorate market interest or stabilise your position. Perception is reality, so learn to control it before it controls you.
     
  2. Improve your value proposition: 90% of the time the problem is not what you sell, it's how you sell it.
     
  3. Analyse and develop your unique value. Don’t worry about competition, the more competitors you have, the more opportunity you have to exploit your comparative value and difference.
     
  4. Offer ideas: No matter what industry you’re in or what you’re selling, there’s opportunity to strengthen relationships by offering ideas. Ask ‘have you thought about doing this?...’, ‘have you considered this?....’
     
  5. Forget Facebook, get face-time: Get in front of people more often. Social media is not a tool for building solid relationships.
     
  6. Target your messaging: Segment your marketing so you're communicating relevant value points to specific people. e.g. a CEO is interested in improving performance, not technical drawings, so how can you help them? Segment your materials accordingly so you create a connection. And remember, people buy from people, not companies.
     
  7. Walk the talk: Deliver your promise with the right behaviour by aligning your operations with your brand values. There's no point promising speed if your delivery vehicles are behind schedule. Improve the customer experience at every point in your business and avoid contradiction.
     
  8. Improve your website: Have you identified the top tasks that customers want to complete when they get to your site? Your website is a marketing tool to ‘help’ people, not ‘sell’ to them.
     
  9. You compete nationally, perhaps even globally. People are no longer limited to buying products and services within walking distance. The car, telephone, credit card and internet present us all with thousands of options. Think carefully about why customers should choose you and communicate it.
     
  10. Understand that your business is in the business of marketing. The competitive landscape is continually evolving, and the only constant is change. Devote 10 minutes every day to generating ideas on how you can better communicate and connect with your audiences, how you can improve your products or services and how you can better deliver them.


© Hamish Chadwick 2011. All Rights Reserved.
hamish@imagesubstation.com

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