Influence people

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

When Customers Don't Care

Are you struggling to get new customers and keep old ones?

In his book The New Experts, adman Robert Bloom offers seven ways to build customer preference in a pitiless world where "buyers no longer care who they buy from."

Benefit.  First and foremost, you must offer your customer an immediate, personal advantage that's different from the ones offered by competitors.  It must be real and "cannot be something that the customer considers trivial."

Website.  No matter your business, besides a benefit, an easy-to-use Website is today's single most powerful buying influence.

Likability.  As salespeople know, customer preference is also about likability.  Customers seldom buy from someone they can't stand.

Trust.  One of the most powerful buying influences, trust (unlike likability) takes time and sincerity to build.

Guarantee.  Warranties provide a form of trust, but the key to them is simplicity.  Complex guarantees backfire.

Best option.  Customer preference can stem from a tiny detail that makes your business the best choice.  You're always on time.  You're always courteous.  Your'e always neat.  You're always cheerful.

Brand.  Preference can boil down to what your brand says about your customer.  "I feel respected as a client."  "I feel good when I buy green."  "I feel elegant when I shop there."

Now for the best news: it isn't easy, but any organization, of any size, "can create customer preference with big ideas and small ones."

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