Do you want to know your customers’ needs better but feel lost in terms of trying to reach them? Do you want to grow your list and thereby grow your company? You’re not alone, yet, many resources that you turn to tell you that you need to “fix” all of the above without telling you how. If you’re like me, advice like that can take your blood pressure from 110 to 260 in a millisecond.
Let’s examine some workable solutions toward building stronger customer relations.
Getting to know your customer’s needs is a process takes time and effort, the very things that business owners struggle against…but, taking the time to explore this now will save you days, months, even years of headaches later.
Let’s start in a place few have considered starting: Let’s begin with you.
Above All Else, Know Thyself
As business owners, we put a lot of time and money into trying to figure out who our customers are, yet many times we haven’t really addressed who we are, what we want, why we want it, how to get it, and when to start.
To get to know your customers, get re-acquainted with yourself. Now you might be saying, “Wha-wha-what? I thought this was about THEM, not ME. I am reminded of the message given to us when we fly: In the event of an emergency, put the oxygen mask on yourself before helping others. The fact is, you have to know what’s important to you before you can know what’s important to your potential clients.
By now you might be saying, “I already know myself, but do you?” To better understand yourself:
1. Make a list identifying 5 things that are truly important to you.
2. Now, revisit the list and prioritize it, starting with what’s most important down to what’s least (this is harder to do than it sounds, and you may not want to share it with loved ones in case they did not make it to number one on your list. A friend of mine had this happen and it did not lead to any happy conclusions! This is your list – for you – only–to start.)
3. Revisit the low priorities on the list and determine who can handle them in your place.
4. Revisit the high priorities and break each into doable steps. Be specific about what those steps entail. Don’t just say, “Create project”, but lay each project out onto a flow chart from first contact to last.
5. Focus. Discipline often means unhooking the phone or not checking your emails every five minutes. Schedule a time you’ll check emails and stick to that time frame. Avoid distractions, but do get up and stretch or run in place for 15-second intervals to stimulate your body and brain.
6. Make action your priority. What’s the adage? A mind is a terrible thing to waste, and we can waste a lot of time thinking and not doing. Don’t get me wrong, thinking is important, but thought without action is just thought. And actions are what ultimately generate business.
Now, guess what? Your customers are not that different from you. To get to know your customers, here are 5 key things you can do TODAY that will help you develop strong customer relations.