Not everyone is a possible customer

September 24, 2010 § Leave a comment

Popular wisdom says you should pay more attention to the customers that don’t buy your product or take up your service. The thinking is that they have more to share about why they didn’t buy what you have on offer.

But here’s a counter view: PAY THE MOST ATTENTION TO THE CUSTOMERS WHO ARE BUYING FROM YOU!

Before you stop reading, and you blame the customers who don’t buy from you for your poor sales, here are a few points to note:

–          You must be very clear what your product/service is e.g. We sell apples

–          You must be very clear who your target customer is e.g. We sell apples to expectant mothers

–          You must be very clear about your price point e.g. We sell expensive apples to expectant mothers

–          You must be very clear about the placement/location of your service e.g. We sell expensive apples to expectant mothers from our street stalls outside of Nordstrom

Only when you are crystal clear about the four things above (amongst other considerations of course) will you be able to say without a doubt that the customer who walked past your product and didn’t buy from you is not your customer. And only then can you safely say that the ‘missed sale’ was not actually a missed sale. In the eventuality that an expectant mother coming out of Nordstrom walks past your stall and does NOT buy your apples then you do have a serious problem.

If a pregnant mother walks out of Nordstrom and buys your apples then you better be prepared to ask at least three questions (while you’re taking her money for the apples) that will help you identify

1.  How many times a month she comes to Nordstrom: which indicate possible repeat purchases for your apples

2.  How many apples she normally buys: which help you clarify your inventory numbers

3.  What else does she like to have with her apples: which tell you what complementary products you should start selling along with your apples.

You’ve got a captive customer and there is no better chance of success in your business than if you can assure recurring revenue from the clients who already like your service and don’t need any more convincing. You can rest assured they’ll tell their expectant-mother-Nordstrom-shopping friends about your stall and your apples…

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