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Show You Really Care By Understanding Your Customer

In the previous AgriTalk, we considered ‘Understanding Customers and their Needs and Wants.’ Now we need progress to the next step - to show your customers that you really care about and understand them. Do you really know your customers? You may think you do. But more importantly, how well do you understand your customers?

As markets become increasingly competitive, companies often compete by focusing on price or product. This, however, overlooks the reason we do business – our customers.

Showing customers that you genuinely care is key to building long-term success and loyalty. As sales professional we need to know more about what our prospect customers care about, this is their products, such as meat, milk or eggs, and their customers, for example, consumers, and retailers.

Say what you mean, and mean what you say How can you show your customers that your care in a sincere way? Although this may sound obvious, the best way to express care for your clients is by keeping the promises you make. Too often people make promises, but then fail to deliver. If you do this, you will lose your customer trust, which is difficult if not impossible to regain. When this happens, you are forced to compete on price, as you are not perceived to add value to the customer’s business.

Don’t focus on making money Also, although the reason we are in business is to make money, don’t focus on how you can make money from your customers. Instead, think about how you can improve their business and make their lives easier.

Listen, not just hear When you ask questions, be prepared to listen to the answers. Remember hearing is NOT the same as listening. We often ‘listen’ just to reply – usually with a one-size fits all answer, that is not based on the individual customer and their specific needs. Listening to your clients indicates that you care about what they think. It makes them feel important and valued, which helps build trust. Plus, you’ll better understand your client’s pains and needs when you’re listening instead of only trying to sell your product or service.

Train your people As we deal with larger, and increasingly more complex key accounts, typically several people will interact with these customers, including not just sales, but also technical, senior management, and customer service, etc. In addition, HR can be indirectly involved, initially through recruiting people with the right skills, and then ensuring these skills are continually updated, and a customer-centric culture is embedded within the organization.

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