It’s the Internet age and that’s a good thing and a bad thing for business people. The good news is that it’s easier than ever to reach your prospective clients.
The bad news is that there’s no barrier to your competition reaching those clients either.
That means you have to be able to develop relationships with those prospective clients right from the first moment. It turn, you need to know what clients are looking for so you can show them you’re the right choice.
It’s Got To Be Convenient
Do you remember the Sinclair C5? Probably not. Almost nobody does. Yet, it was an invention of near unparalleled brilliance. An electric car that was cheap, portable and legal. It ran for miles on an ordinary car battery and you could pedal it when it ran out.
Pedal… that’s the problem. Pedaling a car isn’t convenient. And that was the Sinclair C5’s selling point because it hit the market before anyone had heard of global warming so the “electric car” angel was weak.
If you want to build relationships with clients, you have to offer convenience. They come to you to cut down on work, not to add more to their metaphorical plate. This is true whether you run a pizza delivery service or a wedding planner.
It’s Got To Be Affordable
We’d all love to own a Ferrari but most of us don’t. We don’t because we can’t afford a Ferrari. As Alexei Kouleshov, Managing Director of Your Easy Web Solutions says, “Affordable doesn’t mean ‘cheap’ but whatever you sell, it has to be something that your customer sees enough value in to pay for AND they have to have the means to pay for it.”
You might, for example, think it completely reasonable to pay $10 for someone to mow your lawn for you but you might, equally, find it ridiculous to pay $10 for a small packet of chewing gum. The former is affordable, the latter a rip-off.
You need to look to your clients to guide you on affordability and at the same time, you need to keep an eye close to the bottom line. You need to be profitable while you are affordable.
It’s Got To Be Available
Imagine walking into a burger joint and asking for a burger only to be told, “Sure, we’ve sold out of burgers, right now but if you come back in a week, we’ll have one then!” You’re not going back, are you?
They sell burgers. Without burgers they’re not a burger joint, they’re a home for people with baseball caps with nothing to do.
It doesn’t matter what it is you sell, it needs to be available to your clients. Now, that may not mean “immediately” (though in a burger joint, it should) but it should be “within a timescale your client deems reasonable.” If you don’t know what that timescale is – find out.
It’s Got To Be Useful
Alexei, says, “This may be the most important thing of all. If you run a business, you have to sell things with utility. That is, they must be useful. Sure, you can make a novelty or quirky product and sell it for a while but eventually… demand disappears (when was the last time you saw someone with a Rubik’s Snake?) and so does your business.”
Useful is, of course, in the eye of the beholder (or user, to be more precise). Do you know how your customers are using your products and services? Even the ways you never intended them to use them for? Ask them, observe them, find out and share these uses with your potential customers.
Building relationships online or in the real world with would be customers comes down to having products and services that are convenient, affordable, available, useful and demonstrating this at every touch point. In store, on your website, and in your marketing – it’s time to stress what’s important to your clients before your competitors do.