In sales field, there is a buzz word, that is reiterated almost every day, you should find the RIGHT CUSTOMER/PROSPECT. But how can I know, who is the right customer? Where ae they living? Are they hanging a sign board at their doorstep? Well, we know for sure, none of these. Then how to approach them? I am sure this question is haunting every sales person. Especially, when we approach a new customer? There can be many ways and means suggested by my Management Gurus for this. I am going to describe one method, which not only I used in my career, but endorsed by many successful sales persons, whom I interviewed for different purposes.
Before going through this method, first we should decide our definition for Right Customer or Prospect. In my view, the people or organizations, whose needs can be met with our services or products and shares similar values and principles, are the Right Customers for us. Two organizations with a mismatch of needs and solution and differing set of values and culture can never be associated for long. We may say that relation between a vendor and a prospect is multi factorial and complex too. And therefore, no two organizations can have the same parameters for Right Customers.
In most of the cases, sales persons get relaxed after order is confirmed and payment is realized. A lesser chunk goes beyond to offer post sales services and maintains relationships. But there is one more stage beyond this. And that is analyzing relationship with existing customers and even with those, whom you sold something at a point of time, but could not keep long term association. There are a few questions, that you should try to get answers to work out, why someone is or can be your Right Customer.
- What is the edge with you over your competitor, that makes someone your loyal customer? (Hope you are not enjoying monopoly)
- How your products or services solved the problems of your customer?
- What was the outcome of your customer by using your product/service? And how it was better than earlier?
- What is that extra or differing component in your way of doing business over your competitors, that stops your customer to switch?
- What are their principles and values, and how does your product or service and the way you conduct business enable them to adhere to and honour those principles and values?
Although there are several parameters in a Vendor-Customer relation, which are qualitative and not quantitative, but once you start the process, gradually, you can work out ways. One of the methods is to conduct a meeting with your loyal customer, where you can get all such information, while creating values for your customer too. You may call it “Feedback Meetings” or “Meeting or Relationship Status”. Be it called as anything, objective will always be same as described. You may ask following questions in such meetings: –
- What has worked well so far?
- Is there any improvement needed?
- Will there be any change in your requirement, for which we should take proper step to stay fit?
- Is there any improvement, you would like to see in our way of doing business?
With such meeting, not only you can define your Right Customer to a greater extent, but also, you can put good impression on your customer mind as a progressive company. At last the more you understand your “Right Customer”, the better, you can establish relationships with prospects who match your best-customer profile.