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Small Business Advice on How to Keep Your Customers

Whether the economy is up or down, as self-employed professionals, we all want to be sure we’re doing everything to keep our customers. Some of you have shared that your customers are disappearing or just not returning to your business. Some have expressed a concern that their business is viewed as a luxury expense and is the first to go when hard times hit.

So how do your keep your customers on board with you? Here are 5 ideas you may want to think about:

Stay in touch:

Your business should have some consistent method of following up with prospects, clients and customers. If your customers haven’t heard from you in months, out of sight, out of mind. Customers need to know that you’re there and that you have something valuable to offer them. And speaking of valuable…

Ask them what they want:

If you are not providing what your customers want, they won’t stick around very long. And the best way I know to deliver the best products, services, and value is to ask customers and clients what they want and to do so regularly. The needs of our clients and customers change over time. If you asked years ago, you may be way behind really understanding their needs.

What used to be of high interest years ago may have shifted to something new. If you never ask, you never have the opportunity to create something new, tweak your offerings, and remain valuable in the eyes of your clients.

Listen for objections:

When you ask them what they want, listen carefully for objections they share. Too often, we rush to convince customers that their objections are not that important and that they should buy from us anyway. But if it wasn’t important, they wouldn’t share it. So instead look for the opportunity in the objections. Is it time to offer a payment plan to make payments easier, is it time to add another offering at a lower price point because of economic times, is it time to start offering something new/different to better match their needs?

Listen carefully, take notes, spend time genuinely trying to understand how your business can be of greater value to your clients. You don’t have to change your entire business, but a little tweaking wouldn’t hurt. That said, sometimes and overhaul may very well be in order.

Create what they want:

Sometimes as entrepreneurs, we are busy creating what WE think is cool and innovative because we have a nonstop supply of ideas. Idea-generation is our gift. However, we should become focused on what our clients and customers want and create that. The other side of this is the myth of “Build it and they will come.” Not so. It is not wise to build something then try to find people to buy it. Ask people what they want first.

Ask them for feedback on your product/service: After you have delivered your products and services, don’t skip the step of asking what your clients thought of it. You’ll never know what opportunities you may be missing if you never ask for feedback. Paying attention to feedback on your existing products and services will give you plenty of ideas for how to keep your customers.

Customers stick around when they get great service, great products, and great results from working with you. But you can’t deliver all that greatness unless you’re asking them what they want and what they think about your products and services.

Key Questions & Actions:

* Have you asked your customers and clients what they want?

* When was the last time you asked? Have things changed? Is it time to ask again?

* Is it time to do a mini survey to get into some discovery of what will really make them stick around?

And now I’d like to offer you the FREE Audio for solo entrepreneurs “How to Create a Steady Stream of Clients And Cash For Your Small Business” at: http://www.GreatSmallBusinessAdvice.com

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