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Customer Service – How to retain existing customers and persuade new ones – Ask Evan

hi I’m Evan Carmichael welcome to
another edition of ask Evan in today’s
episode I’m going to answer a question
from one of my newsletter readers
Clementina she’s the marketing manager
at a printing company and she’s pretty
new in her job and she’s finding that
people are coming in and asking for
quotes for her services but they aren’t
following through them becoming
customers there she is wondering what my
advice would be and how she can market
the business more effectively so
Clementina the printing business is
cutthroat it’s almost a race to the
bottom where people are discounting the
prices just to get the business and like
any entrepreneur you don’t want to
compete on price it’s one of the hardest
things to maintain as a competitive
advantage you want to try to find
something else that can differentiate
yourself so the first thing I would do
for you if I was in your business is
that come up with my unique value
proposition so basically what this will
answer is what makes you different from
all the other printing companies and it
could be your service it could be your
target a specific type of customer so
manufacturer and their lawyers or
whatever it is it could be special
features that you add to your printing
service that other people don’t add but
you basically need to find some way to
stand out that’s different from all the
other printing companies and when you
introduce yourself you put that as part
of your statement so instead of writing
an email saying you know we’re part of a
printing company you say I’m the
printing company that does XYZ for
deceptive clients so you want to make
sure that you can identify your target
customer and you’ve done a good job
identifying why you’re different than
everybody else so a quick example for me
I do a lot of work with brands who are
trying to target entrepreneurs and
everybody on my website is an
entrepreneur and I get approached all
the time from different companies who
want to promote their products or
services and if it’s not related to
entrepreneurship I can’t really help and
I tell them that and there’s you know
huge markets open for me potentially to
promote other things and talk about
other things but I really care about
entrepreneurs and that’s what I really
love doing and that’s what my website my
business is geared towards so I turn
away business that might be lucrative
because it’s not really my target market
but then when somebody is interested in
selling to entrepreneurs are working
with on
where’s I’m able to help them and I’m
able to check your premium not just a
regular price but a premium because
that’s what I focus on that’s what I’m
really good at so the same thing for
your business what are you really good
at who can you really help and how can
you stand out from everybody else and go
after specific clients who can really
value those services so not everybody in
the business who wants printing is gonna
want service a lot of people are just
looking for the lowest price and you
don’t want those customers you want
identify the guys who value service and
who really value the expertise that you
bring to the table
and oh assuming that you have some
special expertise and you are focus on
service so you want to really define
that so figure that out with your unique
value proposition and then only go out
to the clients and customers who fit the
mold of the ideal client that you’re
trying to chase okay you mentioned that
a lot of people were then asking for
quotes and weren’t following through so
the next thing I would do and this would
be me if it was my business and I do
this in my own business
I don’t just quote people so if somebody
asks for a quote I don’t just give it
give them a quote on the phone or by
email it’s important for me that I
understand the needs of my clients and
that I’m working with them so I’ll
always at least have a phone call if
they’re not based here in Toronto where
I’m from but I’ll usually try to set up
a meeting and at the point of that
meeting is to understand why they’re
interested in working with me what their
goals are what they want to achieve by
working with me and it builds a
relationship with them and you want to
do the same thing so I would approach my
clients people who are interested in
potentially use my printing services and
instead of just offering a quote I tried
to set up a meeting to talk to them
about what the challenges are why
they’re trying to hire us and how we
might be able to help them and I get an
understanding of if I can help them and
how it can help them and it builds that
trust and it’s more likely that they’re
gonna want to work with me if they find
that I’m professional I care about their
I’m responsive and I took the time to
meet with them now most people you’re
not going to be able to meet with and a
lot of people won’t want to meet with
you and probably those are the clients
who you don’t want to have as clients if
someone’s just shopping around trying to
find the lowest price and you know you
offer to meet with them and they don’t
want to meet with you then I wouldn’t
want that person was my client anyway so
you’re weeding out some of the
people who are just kind of bottom
feeders looking for the lowest price
available again you want to focus on
that unique value proposition see why
you’re different and that people will
appreciate that when you end up meeting
with them for coffee or over the phone
the next thing I would do is come up
with a package and what a lot of
printing companies do that I’ve seen is
you send out samples so somebody might
say you know send me some samples of
what you’ve done before and what I would
do instead of just sending those samples
I try to send out a package that is
tailored to my customer so if for
example your unique value proposition
states that you’re really focused on
working with manufacturers and you’re
really good at work with manufacturers
you understand their needs you
understand their printing needs you
understand their goals what they need to
get done and what I would do with my
package here is not just include samples
of work that we’ve done for previous
manufacturing companies which is
important but it also outlined an entire
marketing strategy for what we’ve done
in the past so show the ROI that other
manufacturing companies you’ve worked
with have seen from working with your
services include testimonials and
pictures and quotes from people who’ve
you’ve worked with who are in a similar
business and manufactured again whatever
industry it is but make sure it’s
targeted to that client and so when your
client is looking at your offering
versus everybody else first you took the
time to meet with them second you give
them a professional package that is
catered to their needs and shows that
you really understand what their goals
are and even though you’re charging a
higher price a lot of people will think
well this is worth it because these guys
really get what I’m doing so I would try
to get that in Grain as part of your
process you’re always doing this as part
of your sales process instead of just
sending out samples and quoting people
by email the last thing I would do is
follow up
so a lot of sales calls and there’s a
lot of sales process dies because the
company doesn’t follow up and it could
be because either they found another
supplier or you know the budget
disappeared for what they wanted to do
or they’re not interested in doing it
anymore but I would try to follow up at
least at the beginning every couple
weeks just to figure out you know if you
let it deal or not if there’s any other
questions you can ask or not and then on
an ongoing basis I keep people in my
database and quarterly just touch base
with them try to follow up give them
some new ideas and how they might be
able to market their business or new
printing services that you’re offering
just to maintain that relationship and
what you want to do especially for
business clients if you’re selling
business-to-business you want to be seen
as an important part of somebody’s
business and not just a supplier and so
when I meet with my clients as an
example I don’t just build them and I
don’t talk them anymore especially if
the client is over as well I’ll follow
up every quarter with with all my
clients and try to give them information
and data that could help them make
important business decisions and
hopefully like puts me in a position of
being really important to their business
and not just a commodity supplier where
they could drop me and go to somebody
else really quickly so especially with
you where you’re selling a printing
service that might be seen as a
commodity type of product that somebody
could buy you want to find ways to
establish that relationship and give
them information on a regular basis that
can help them achieve their visions
business objectives and grow their
companies so you know what do you send
them it’s all still comes back to
instead of having that quote we’ve had
that meeting and we and they’re saying
what they’re looking for and we try to
help them grow their business
now not everybody you meet is gonna be
able to sign up with you and maybe not
in the immediate future as well maybe a
longer term process but that’s where the
follow-up comes in and touching the base
with everybody at least once a quarter
to see you know again if you might be
able to help them with their services
and grow their business so I hope that
helps it might be a little bit of a
different model than what what you’re
used to but it’s moving you from being a
commodity printing company and this is
for any entrepreneur moving from a
commodity service being seen as somebody
that they can just drop quickly and
competing only on price to being a
valuable part of your customers business
by understanding what they’re really
looking for targeting your market really
not just taking on anybody not just
quoting people going meeting with them
and follow-up making sure you touch base
with them on a regular basis to show how
much you care about their company so I
hope that helps if you like the video
I’d love to hear what you guys have to
think below if you want to leave a
comment and I always appreciate it when
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for watching and stay tuned for the next
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