Does running your business feel like fishing on a perpetually slow day? Are you continuing to put out your line, but not getting any bites?
Maybe you’re in the wrong part of the lake. Or perhaps you haven’t been waiting long enough. Or maybe, just maybe, there’s a problem with your bait.
Let’s take a step back now and look at what you’re putting out there, why it isn’t returning any fish, and how you can start reeling them in.
You Don’t Value Your Customers Enough
Just as you want your customers to value your business, your customers want you to value the business they’re giving you as well. It’s a two-way street. Think about what’s in it for them.
If you walked into a store for the first time and were met with impolite or totally disinterested staff, what reason would you have to return? They’d have to be selling something pretty special that you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere, and even then you’d probably try to find it on Amazon and cut out the middleman altogether.
On the flip side, imagine you entered a store for the first time and were warmly greeted at the entrance and then promptly helped with your purchase? I bet you’d be much more inclined to make that purchase and come back in the future.
So if you’re having trouble with customer retention, start by looking at what you could do to improve the customer experience and make them feel valued.
You’re Too Quick to Offer a Discount
Although valuing your customers is essential, taken too far it can prove problematic as well. Take, for example, desperate over-discounting.
Now don’t get me wrong; people love a good deal. But if someone is expecting to pay $500 for a new couch and you offer it to them for $100, they’ll probably start to get a little suspicious and wonder what’s wrong with it. Maybe there’s a tear on one of the cushions? Is it faux leather, even though the sticker says otherwise? Is it going to fall apart the minute I get it home?
It’s all about perceived value. Think about what your products and services are actually worth to your customers and then price them fairly based on that.
If you’re too quick to drop the price, that could signal to the customer one of two things: there’s either something wrong with what you’re selling them, or they should have been paying the lower rate all along, and deem you untrustworthy or sneaky. Either way, it’s not a great way to get your clients to value your business.
You’re Selling Features, Not Benefits
As the father of advertising David Ogilvy said, in order to sell, you must appeal to emotion. And the way to appeal to emotion is not through advertising your product/service features, but instead emphasizing the benefit.
Let’s say you’re going camping for the first time because you want to experience nature, and you’re in the market for a tent. You don’t really know much about tents, but you know you’re looking for something that will house you and a group of friends, and make you feel safe, but not claustrophobic. Which of the two tents descriptions would appeal to you more:
“Spacious 13’ portable tent features a high-quality polymer mesh roof, polyurethane sleeper bottom, and convenient front and side zips.”
“Stay safe and dry in this roomy tent that can sleep up to eight. Removable dividers provide flexibility and privacy, and mesh roof offers unrivaled views of the night sky.”
Personally, description A would bore me, and probably even distance me as a customer. (High quality polymer? What does that even mean?)
Whereas in description B, I’m immediately told that I will feel safe in this tent, I’ll also have privacy if I need it, and all while still being able to enjoy the beautiful night sky – the whole reason I wanted to take the camping trip in the first place.
When you appeal to emotion, you make a connection with your customer that you would have never been able to convey with “high quality polymer” or “convenient front and side zips.” It’s these (not-so-subtle) differences that can make the difference between an estranged customer and a closed sale.
So by simply showing your customers you value them, offering them a fair price based on the perceived value of your products and services, and focusing on how your business can help benefit your customers, you can get your clients to start valuing your business – hook, line, and sinker.