I recently attended an Institute of Directors (IOD) breakfast at Cliveden where the theme for the discussion was Customers. On each of our tables we discussed this theme and how we could both attract more of them and retain and grow those we already had.
Here are the key messages that came out of the conversation on my table:
- As businesses we need to spend our money and time wisely to analyse what we are doing and to focus our actions.
- Maximise the potential in your existing database of customers and cross-sell and up-sell to those.
- A mix of sales and marketing activities is important with consistency and continuity.
- In organisations where there are marketing and sales functions there needs to be a clear hand over from marketing to sales.
- The customer is always right when it comes to providing them with service and courtesy.
- The customer is not always right when it comes to knowing what they need. We have a responsibility to help them to buy what they need rather than what they want.
- Consultative selling is important – communicating, questioning, listening and learning about them and their business.
What are you doing to make the most of the customers and clients you already have, to value them and to grow them?