Surprise! Your size is your greatest advantage! That is right — often a smaller business can adapt and shift much quicker to meet customer needs. Pay attention to providing as much tender loving care (TLC) as you can afford.
1) Build personal relationships: remember it is people who work for a company who do business with people who work for the supplier (you)! Remember, people do business with people they trust and like. Most prospects and customers are looking for lasting relationships. In a business context, relationships are built by listening to the prospects'/customers' needs, wants, emotions and perceptions (NWEP).
2) Differentiate certain buying habits and traits: identify the key traits of your ideal prospects buying pattern, intention, beliefs and values. These are identifiable and traceable criteria that can be used to flag those leads and prospects that have the highest propensity to buy your product or service. Create specific categories in a database that will allow you to search, sort and identify these customers quickly. Then provide them with customized, special products and services — out serve the big guys!
3) Determine high yield customers: Those customers that have bought from you and have the potential for continued sales (high yield) are to be singled out for special treatment and privileges. (mailings, gifts etc.) Categorize all the other customers and work to enlarge the circle, i.e. create strategies to pull in other groups into the high yield status.
4) Create Systems to reach them and keep in touch: An effective communication system will allow you to develop your inventory of leads and prospects into customers. Example: Sales Process & Questioning Strategy, Phone Strategy, Newsletters, Fax Back Technology, Web Site etc.
5) Create products and services that meet the customers lifetime needs: As your customers grow and mature so should your business systems, products and services. Create a system to monitor your customers changing needs. For example, you could set up a survey and reward those who participate in the survey.
6) Actively work with customers: Create an after sale follow through strategy such as a satisfaction survey. Ask for their ideas and comments. Advise them of positive changes and improvements.