Customer Service - How to retain existing customers and persuade new ones - Ask Evan

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hi I'm Evan Carmichael welcome to

another edition of ask Evan in today's

episode I'm going to answer a question

from one of my newsletter readers

Clementina she's the marketing manager

at a printing company and she's pretty

new in her job and she's finding that

people are coming in and asking for

quotes for her services but they aren't

following through them becoming

customers there she is wondering what my

advice would be and how she can market

the business more effectively so

Clementina the printing business is

cutthroat it's almost a race to the

bottom where people are discounting the

prices just to get the business and like

any entrepreneur you don't want to

compete on price it's one of the hardest

things to maintain as a competitive

advantage you want to try to find

something else that can differentiate

yourself so the first thing I would do

for you if I was in your business is

that come up with my unique value

proposition so basically what this will

answer is what makes you different from

all the other printing companies and it

could be your service it could be your

target a specific type of customer so

manufacturer and their lawyers or

whatever it is it could be special

features that you add to your printing

service that other people don't add but

you basically need to find some way to

stand out that's different from all the

other printing companies and when you

introduce yourself you put that as part

of your statement so instead of writing

an email saying you know we're part of a

printing company you say I'm the

printing company that does XYZ for

deceptive clients so you want to make

sure that you can identify your target

customer and you've done a good job

identifying why you're different than

everybody else so a quick example for me

I do a lot of work with brands who are

trying to target entrepreneurs and

everybody on my website is an

entrepreneur and I get approached all

the time from different companies who

want to promote their products or

services and if it's not related to

entrepreneurship I can't really help and

I tell them that and there's you know

huge markets open for me potentially to

promote other things and talk about

other things but I really care about

entrepreneurs and that's what I really

love doing and that's what my website my

business is geared towards so I turn

away business that might be lucrative

because it's not really my target market

but then when somebody is interested in

selling to entrepreneurs are working

with on

where's I'm able to help them and I'm

able to check your premium not just a

regular price but a premium because

that's what I focus on that's what I'm

really good at so the same thing for

your business what are you really good

at who can you really help and how can

you stand out from everybody else and go

after specific clients who can really

value those services so not everybody in

the business who wants printing is gonna

want service a lot of people are just

looking for the lowest price and you

don't want those customers you want

identify the guys who value service and

who really value the expertise that you

bring to the table

and oh assuming that you have some

special expertise and you are focus on

service so you want to really define

that so figure that out with your unique

value proposition and then only go out

to the clients and customers who fit the

mold of the ideal client that you're

trying to chase okay you mentioned that

a lot of people were then asking for

quotes and weren't following through so

the next thing I would do and this would

be me if it was my business and I do

this in my own business

I don't just quote people so if somebody

asks for a quote I don't just give it

give them a quote on the phone or by

email it's important for me that I

understand the needs of my clients and

that I'm working with them so I'll

always at least have a phone call if

they're not based here in Toronto where

I'm from but I'll usually try to set up

a meeting and at the point of that

meeting is to understand why they're

interested in working with me what their

goals are what they want to achieve by

working with me and it builds a

relationship with them and you want to

do the same thing so I would approach my

clients people who are interested in

potentially use my printing services and

instead of just offering a quote I tried

to set up a meeting to talk to them

about what the challenges are why

they're trying to hire us and how we

might be able to help them and I get an

understanding of if I can help them and

how it can help them and it builds that

trust and it's more likely that they're

gonna want to work with me if they find

that I'm professional I care about their


I'm responsive and I took the time to

meet with them now most people you're

not going to be able to meet with and a

lot of people won't want to meet with

you and probably those are the clients

who you don't want to have as clients if

someone's just shopping around trying to

find the lowest price and you know you

offer to meet with them and they don't

want to meet with you then I wouldn't

want that person was my client anyway so

you're weeding out some of the

people who are just kind of bottom

feeders looking for the lowest price

available again you want to focus on

that unique value proposition see why

you're different and that people will

appreciate that when you end up meeting

with them for coffee or over the phone

the next thing I would do is come up

with a package and what a lot of

printing companies do that I've seen is

you send out samples so somebody might

say you know send me some samples of

what you've done before and what I would

do instead of just sending those samples

I try to send out a package that is

tailored to my customer so if for

example your unique value proposition

states that you're really focused on

working with manufacturers and you're

really good at work with manufacturers

you understand their needs you

understand their printing needs you

understand their goals what they need to

get done and what I would do with my

package here is not just include samples

of work that we've done for previous

manufacturing companies which is

important but it also outlined an entire

marketing strategy for what we've done

in the past so show the ROI that other

manufacturing companies you've worked

with have seen from working with your

services include testimonials and

pictures and quotes from people who've

you've worked with who are in a similar

business and manufactured again whatever

industry it is but make sure it's

targeted to that client and so when your

client is looking at your offering

versus everybody else first you took the

time to meet with them second you give

them a professional package that is

catered to their needs and shows that

you really understand what their goals

are and even though you're charging a

higher price a lot of people will think

well this is worth it because these guys

really get what I'm doing so I would try

to get that in Grain as part of your

process you're always doing this as part

of your sales process instead of just

sending out samples and quoting people

by email the last thing I would do is

follow up

so a lot of sales calls and there's a

lot of sales process dies because the

company doesn't follow up and it could

be because either they found another

supplier or you know the budget

disappeared for what they wanted to do

or they're not interested in doing it

anymore but I would try to follow up at

least at the beginning every couple

weeks just to figure out you know if you

let it deal or not if there's any other

questions you can ask or not and then on

an ongoing basis I keep people in my

database and quarterly just touch base

with them try to follow up give them

some new ideas and how they might be

able to market their business or new

printing services that you're offering

just to maintain that relationship and

what you want to do especially for

business clients if you're selling

business-to-business you want to be seen

as an important part of somebody's

business and not just a supplier and so

when I meet with my clients as an

example I don't just build them and I

don't talk them anymore especially if

the client is over as well I'll follow

up every quarter with with all my

clients and try to give them information

and data that could help them make

important business decisions and

hopefully like puts me in a position of

being really important to their business

and not just a commodity supplier where

they could drop me and go to somebody

else really quickly so especially with

you where you're selling a printing

service that might be seen as a

commodity type of product that somebody

could buy you want to find ways to

establish that relationship and give

them information on a regular basis that

can help them achieve their visions

business objectives and grow their

companies so you know what do you send

them it's all still comes back to

instead of having that quote we've had

that meeting and we and they're saying

what they're looking for and we try to

help them grow their business

now not everybody you meet is gonna be

able to sign up with you and maybe not

in the immediate future as well maybe a

longer term process but that's where the

follow-up comes in and touching the base

with everybody at least once a quarter

to see you know again if you might be

able to help them with their services

and grow their business so I hope that

helps it might be a little bit of a

different model than what what you're

used to but it's moving you from being a

commodity printing company and this is

for any entrepreneur moving from a

commodity service being seen as somebody

that they can just drop quickly and

competing only on price to being a

valuable part of your customers business

by understanding what they're really

looking for targeting your market really

not just taking on anybody not just

quoting people going meeting with them

and follow-up making sure you touch base

with them on a regular basis to show how

much you care about their company so I

hope that helps if you like the video

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