Blessings people! Welcome to NeverTheLess! How time flies. We are in May already! My prayer is that this month will bring you all the grace and favour you require to move your dream forward.
I have been asked recently what the next step should be once an individual has recognized his dream life and started to live it. A lot of people who have dreams to offer goods or services that are already in existence are wondering where their clientele and customers will come from. The fear is who will want to spend their money on something new and not yet proven if they can just walk to their regular service provider and get what they have always gotten? Why will they want to change their buying habits just because you have something new in the market? My post will center basically on two different ways we went about getting our customers and how we have kept them. Also, I will be addressing how we expanded the market at Effectual.
- ENSURE THAT YOU ARE GIVING SOMETHING EXTRA
When we started publishing Effectual magazine, we knew that we had no track record in the business, and that we were going to be trying to break into a territory that has been controlled over time by a certain kind of publication, for a certain kind of woman. While there was nothing wrong with the publications in circulation, there was a gap we wanted to fill so rather than just publish another magazine like all the rest, we made sure we had that extra element.
Most clients and customers are usually pretty loyal to their service providers, so much so that crossing the carpet can be difficult. It is therefore your responsibility as the new kid on the block to ensure that you provide the extra, and let them decide over time that they need what you have on offer.
- IS YOUR DREAM AND BUSINESS ABOUT THE CUSTOMER?
This was our second focus. We ensured that as much as it was possible, we responded to our customers on time, usually within the first twenty four hours and even though money was important to the health of the business, we didn’t make our service about the money! For us, it was and it still is, a joy to be able to serve our clientele and we celebrated every single reader that joined us, as long as we were aware of them.
They were special to us, and we didn’t hesitate to let them know. It should be the same with you. You cannot make it about the money. Remember this is your dream, which means it is your life work. Money cannot be the main reason why you are living this life, and your customers need to know that each one of them is important and valuable to you.
- RESPECT THE CUSTOMER ESPECIALLY WHEN HE DOESN’T THINK HE REQUIRES YOUR SERVICE.
This is a hard one, but I had to keep telling my marketing team that their job was to make the magazine available to those who had need for them. It was always easier to get the individual who has an interest and need that we can meet to subscribe than it was to convince just about anyone on the street. That you have a new service or product doesn’t give you the license to become a pest and an irritant to others. Always remember that while trying to sell, the customer reserves the right to buy.
When we started we had no budget for advertising and I know this applies to most new ventures and businesses. So we resorted to the best and most effective kind of advertisement that we knew about, and that was by word of mouth. Here we relied greatly on the Law of 250; we trusted that if we continued to give the extra, combined with excellent customer service and respect for our customers, both current and prospective, we will get to a point where existing customers become our greatest sales people. And that has not failed us at all. For every market in the different corners of the world that have opened to us, it is usually one satisfied customer that makes it happen.
While this is not exhaustive, I do know that if you begin here, you will go really far in what you have been called to achieve with your dream. Remember it is not about the money, the customer is King, ensure you are giving extra and finally, trust your existing client base to help you spread the word.
Till next week don’t forget, that a dream is only as effective as the man who is awake taking action. You will make it NeverTheless. See you next week.