Visiting customers may feel like a time-consuming task that you’re far too busy for. Perhaps it even strikes fear into your heart if you’re not comfortable with networking!
But it’s a vital part of business operations and well worth investing time in.
But my customers know me already!
They may know your signature email sign-off or maybe even your telephone voice – but they’d probably like to put a face to them! When it comes to business, people want to interact with people; it reassures them that you’re human and you genuinely care about their needs and providing a solution.
If they’re already my customers, isn’t a visit a waste of time?
Visiting existing customers is a sure-fire way to nurture strong relationships and build brand loyalty. Basically, it keeps your company in the customer’s conscious when competitors come a-calling! When your customer has a particular need, it will be your company’s name that stands out in the noise of a crowded business sector.
A visit also demonstrates that you value your customer’s business.
You’ll protect and grow your customer base and can upsell your services in a more impactful way than an easily-deleted marketing email.
What if the customer has had a negative experience with my product or service?
Then a visit in person – on your customer’s turf – will help avoid a potential dispute by showing you’re willing to listen to constructive criticism and then improve.
On the flip side, your customer may love your product or service! Seeing a customer using or implementing your product or service is a great motivator, especially if you’re a start-up company. You’ll learn first-hand what works and what doesn’t – and that’s far more engaging than reading data on a spreadsheet.
I’m convinced. But how do I prepare??
Gather your team and ensure you all have a clear understanding of the visit’s objectives. This not only demonstrates your professionalism, transparency, leadership qualities and organisational skills, but also shows that your whole team is on the same page with the same goals. This creates trust, which leads to lasting business relationships.
Your salespeople should have a deep understanding of the desires and needs of your target demographic. In addition, they should also be proficient in showcasing the benefits of what they sell in order to generate desire and inspire customer loyalty.
Consider hiring a Non-Executive Director to help with your sales
Whether you’re a start-up or an established business that’s become stagnant, you may be wondering: should I appoint a non-executive director for my company? While there’s no definitive answer, you can explore the benefits and alternatives.
What is a Non-Executive Director?
An NED sits on your company’s board of directors but is not part of the executive team. They’re involved in planning and policymaking but not in the general management.
Do I Need an NED?
If you’re a young, emerging company, you may feel you won’t be taken seriously without a non-executive director. You may think an NED will give you instant access to funding or crucial contacts. You may have started out but are now confused as to how to grow. All these reasons may lead you to appoint an NED.
But the truth is banks, investors and contacts are more interested in you – the company’s founder. For all the aspects where you think you need an NED, there is a more appropriate person for that position. For instance, you may find a salesperson, business mentor or financial director more fitting. A non-executive director is not a short-cut to success.
What are the benefits of an NED?
Your chosen NED should be a valuable asset in times of change within your business. The right person for the role will have broad and practical business experience (though not necessarily in your particular sector) and have the ability to think and act objectively. They should ensure your company is well-run by a strong management team while also having the initiative to challenge failing strategies. On a personal level, they should be intellectual and emotionally intelligent.
What are the alternatives to an NED?
As a qualified business consultant with over two decades of experience, I can help your company grow without the need for a non-executive director. I have wide-ranging skills and experience, covering aspects such as strategic planning, leadership development, the setting of KPIs and sales/marketing.
As an expert business advisor and sales growth specialist, I can identify areas of your business that require focus, and work with you to provide solutions, sales growth and business development strategies.
My business mentoring and coaching will help you develop your skills to concentrate on your business direction, leadership and management skills, sales techniques, ensuring your company has the right foundations, direction and cost efficiency to ensure continued growth year after year.