What are your customers and prospects trying to buy, and how does that compare with what are you selling? Is your team aligned with your customers buying process in today’s market — the what, how, and when? As you identify the different buyer roles and their needs, you’ll also have to approach them appropriately. This thinking is in line with being a customer centric business. This isn’t anything new, and there’s no magic to this. It’s just that not everyone is doing it or doing it very well.
It’ll be a crucial part of your customer playbook as customers may start changing their behaviors. Don’t be surprised to see your mature customers making decisions like a start-up company might. Speed, agility, idea generation, and the ability to help stretch budgets will become critical components in your goal to increase revenue and margins.
New rules prevail as you connect with your customers. For example, forging relationships and brainstorming face to face may be replaced or at least supplemented with video calls. Are you ready? And how customers use online resources and social channels to filter new suppliers with whom they want to meet has been changing for years. You need to make sure that your business is dialed into those changes and prepared, or you’ll run the risk of being left behind.
As your customers and prospects re-examine their businesses, you’ll see marketing budgets being questioned. Ideas that will help them stretch their budgets and are impactful are table stakes in today’s market. Having a basket of good ideas will be a good thing. Your game will need to be in top form if you want to play.
Selling isn’t that hard, it’s getting
them to buy that’s the tough part!
Like a business start-up, your customers may have needs that fall into multiple tiers or time frames. It’s your responsibility, and also a strategic opportunity to recognize where they are in those varying stages. For example, they may be working on projects that they need now, right now. They may also be working on projects that are 90 to 100 days out and on strategies that are six months away. Your ability to recognize, speak to, and deliver on these different needs will go a long way in securing your place at the table. Focusing on only what they need today, could be short-lived and leave you in a commodity status or worse, on the outside looking in.
Increasing revenues and margins has always been a difficult task. It is made even more difficult during unprecedented economic times. Show your team how to regroup and retool so that they can effectively help your customers and prospects increase their revenues and margins. This is no time to leave anything to chance. Those who are fully prepared will reap the rewards of an economy on the mend, while those who rest on yesterday’s victories may be left behind.
I welcome any thoughts or questions, please add them below or reach out to me directly.
Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic counsel, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.com, LinkedIn or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.