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Getting to Know Your Designer
In this issue, we examine how fabs work with their design customers, educating them on the critical elements of fabrication needed to be successful, as well as the many tradeoffs involved. How well do you really know your customer? What makes for a closer, more synchronized working relationship?
In this issue, the biggest names in PCB manufacturing share their economic outlook for the upcoming year and beyond. As you will see, they were all bullish on our industry, but there was some apprehension as well. No one wants to get burned by another the supply chain disruption.
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Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
It's Only Common Sense
By Dan Beaulieu
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It’s Only Common Sense: Don’t Fall in Love With Your Marketing
Don’t fall so in love with your marketing, your sales pitch, your product, or even your company that you forget the most important thing—your customer. You can think that your advertising is really cool, but it doesn’t matter. It also doesn’t even matter if you have the very best product on the market today. In the end, all that matters is what your customers think. Emphasize and prioritize your customers’ needs over your own. Be completely customer focused. Fall in love with your customer. If you want to succeed in sales, this has to be your number one goal.
Salespeople who focus on their customers wants and needs will always be the most successful in the end. To win your customers’ business you must provide them with exactly what they want.
Instead of spending all your time, effort, and money on what you believe is the best message to present to your customers, first find out what they want. You might say, “I don’t know what’s wrong with these customers. They just don’t get it. We have the best product, service, technology, marketing, and value in our market today. Why aren’t they buying from us? They must be stupid to not understand what we’ve done and what we offer.” If that’s how you think, you’d better rethink your approach because you are way off base.
Customers buy what they want when they want it, not because you told them to. They buy when they are ready to buy and when they feel that your product meets their needs. To fully understand this, you need a good working knowledge of a customer’s needs.
There are several ways to do this. For example, find out more about the company. Study their market. Find out what it takes to be a leader in that market. One failsafe way is to simply ask them. It’s an uncomplicated as that. Just sit down with their buyer, engineer, or whomever the decisionmaker in the company is, and have an honest and open discussion about their needs. Find out by asking them what they look for in a supplier. What are their preferences? Know what to ask and when to ask it.
Then, my friends, sit back and really listen. Oh yes, please shut up and listen. Remember, you will never learn anything while you are talking. You already know all about your own company, and the customer probably does as well. So, just ask the right questions and you’ll successfully learn what your customers’ needs are.
It’s not very difficult once you get the hand of it.
Just as a kind of primer (and to save you some time), some research netted several ideas for attracting customers. I dare say, most are them are only common sense. So, (drum roll please) here are the top 10 reasons why customers buy from you.
- Quality: Customers perceive your products and services as high-quality, which means they won’t have to worry about quality issues when they deal with you as a supplier.
- Price: Sorry, but it is important. Customer must feel they are getting the best value for their money.
- Brand reputation: Trust in your brand’s reputation. Your track record is always important.
- Customer service: Have excellent service and support.
- Convenience: Be easy to talk to and deal with. Be easy to work with.
- Unique features: Offer innovative products, technology, and capabilities.
- Recommendations: This one is key. There is nothing better than one happy customer bragging on you to a potential new customer. Positive word-of-mouth or referrals are the best.
- Trustworthiness: Create a sense of trust and reliability in your business. This is where you as the salesperson get into the act. If you are real, trustworthy, and honest, you will do well.
- Emotional connection: Make an emotional appeal by aligning with the customer’s values and lifestyles.
- Problem solving: Your product and service effectively addresses the customers’ pain points and needs.
Always remember that things change. Customer preferences change, so it’s essential to continually adapt your strategies to meet your customer’s evolving expectations and requirements. Building and maintaining strong customer relationships is key to long-term success in sales and, of course, in business.
It’s only common sense.
Dan Beaulieu is president of D.B. Management Group.
More Columns from It's Only Common SenseIt’s Only Common Sense: Learning Good Customer Service From TV
It’s Only Common Sense: It’s the Little Things That Matter
It’s Only Common Sense: The Benefits of Failure
It’s Only Common Sense: Involve Employees in Creating a Great Company Culture
It’s Only Common Sense: What Are You Afraid Of?
It’s Only Common Sense: Great Customer Service Stories
It’s Only Common Sense: The Other Attributes of a Truly Creative, Innovative, and Successful Salesperson
It’s Only Common Sense: The Modern Way to Sell