Do you know your best customer? Do you know where they shop? Where they gather? Where they play? What influences them?
Knowing your best customer (not the customer off the street) is the most important marketing information you can have. Focusing on your best customer is the quickest way to increase your sales. It is through your best customer that you have access to their network of friends and their rampant word of mouth that can drive dramatic increases in sales.
Just think Apple and look at their product launches. That success is driven by a core focus that surely adheres to the following guidelines:
- Run an aggressive sales incentive program. Aggressive in terms of announcing the existence of the incentive program as well as its rewards. Start talking about a new product launch with your sales people months before the new product arrives. Keeping your salespeople in the loop builds stronger loyalty with your sales force. And announce the sales incentive early as well. This will enable sales staff to build enthusiasm with your best customers early. Sales incentive effectiveness is based on the enthusiasm that the company creates for the program – think Starbucks’ launch of VIA. The best programs are simple and attainable.
- Provide your customers with "behind the curtain” information. Last week I went into my local drug store to purchase some envelopes. When I got to the cashier, he informed me that this was a two-for-one special. I went back to pick up another box of envelopes and only then noticed the two-for-one sales going on around the store. My initial intention to purchase one box of envelopes turned into a multi-purchase of a number of items. And yes the first thing I did after I left the store was tell others about the sale.
-Tier your customers. Not every customer is the same. Know your best customers, communicate with your best customers, provide them extra value, from simply knowing their name to offering a customer reward program. Treat your best customers differently from all other customers.
-Treat your internal and your external customers with great care. Your internal customer is anyone that you come into contact with who works for the company. Getting a paycheck is no longer reward enough for doing the job. Treat your internal staff in the same way you would treat your best customer (because they are). And then create programs that enable you to separate your best customer from someone off the street.