High Profits: Get Your Customers To Chase You
Eddie had worked for many companies, before he started out on his own. One of his major concerns as new entrepreneur was getting customers.
When I sat down with him over coffee, he told me how hard he was trying: "I cold call brand managers every day.
Does that sound familiar? Chasing customers is the hardest part of being self-employed. Believe me, clients do not like to be chased either. Eddie and I worked on a solution.
He had been a design and print consultant for over 20 years. I asked him a few questions. It turned out that one important goal that his clients – brand managers had had to keep the design and printing costs low.
With that knowledge, I asked Eddie to write down top 10 ways to save costs. Next I asked him to put together a slideshow with those 10 tips.
Then I saved him a script and I asked him to call up a few brand managers. The script went something like this:
"My name is Eddie and I can save you upto 30% of print costs within 30 days.
This line works wonders because:
It tells the customer how she is going to benefit. It tells her how much time it is going to take to find out, and it asks a question that's very difficult to say 'no' to.
He would then share his top tip on the phone and seek to meet "for 35 minutes" to share the rest of the tips with her.
Note the odd number – 35 minutes. It shows that you know exactly how long it is going to take. It's not half an hour or one hour, which is commonly used, and it appears more figurative than literal. He got six out of 10 appointments he called for. He then sat the client through his slideshow and explained each tip, which was supported by the solid experience from his 20 years' of work. He stuck to his 35 minutes. At the end of the meeting, he took their business card and left.
Of course, before leaving, he dared his prospect a copy of his slideshow with his contact details on it.
During this first meeting, he had secured valuable insights into the client's business.
He had learned that they were planning to participate in a trade show in Germany. Eddie made a couple of calls to his contacts in Germany and got some rough estimations.
He then waited for a few days and called his prospect to say that he had good printing contacts in Germany and could arrange print work there that could save valuable dollars. Note: he did not give them the estimates yet.
This value-added approach earned a lot of customers for Eddie. More importantly, it has earned him the goodwill that provides a lot of word-of-mouth publicity. Eddie in fact turns down a lot of work because of lack of time.
What was unique in Eddie's approach that you can use?
He knew his customers' problems well.
He had solutions for those problems.
He was not calling prospects to pitch. He was offering his valuable experience. First, he offered to understand. Then he offered advice.
Can you follow a similar approach for your business?