even if you haven’t got a CRM
Every business including yours does CRM whether they have a CRM system or not. Its just a question of whether they do it well or badly. That is because you don’t have a business if you haven’t got CLIENTS, and the value of your business – even its very survival – depends on the value of the RELATIONSHIPS you have with them. And every business MANAGES these relationships – sometimes well sometimes badly. Some business use a bit of software to help them do this called a CRM database. My point is that CRM is not about a bit of kit, its about the very survival of your business.
The four principles of success
There are four principles that will make sure you prosper and survive as a business, even in these troubled times by managing your client relationships well. They are common sense right?
- Know more about your clients and if possible prospects than your competitors do
- Use that information to treat them as individuals
- When you communicate, spend more time listening to what they are saying – the whole two ears one mouth thing
- So that you know and can give them exactly what they want – because if you can’t, they will find it elsewhere
Just think through what happens when you go to a networking event, or your business goes to a trade show. If its networking you get home and have a pocket full of cards which have names and addresses, or you have a file from the exhibition organisers with a list of people who have been zapped. Most of the time that is where it stays. In a few days or weeks you have forgotten what you talked about or what they were interested in. If you do get around to putting them into a database, you will send out a standard follow up email, or some poor shmuck spends hours calling them with some sort of standard patter (yes I have been said shmuck). You are unlikely even at this stage to listen to what they are really looking for, because you have your pitch and targets to meet. So you can’t give them anything different from every other pain in the arse sales person that has been calling them from the trade show. Sound familiar?
OK that is your prospects – but what about your clients. Just for starters, how many of your clients are still doing business with you. You think you know? Well how long would it take for you to know that they had started dealing with someone else, or that they are actively seeking alternatives? If they did get in touch with a rival, how long would it take for these competitors to know as much about your clients as you do (or even more). And because this would be new business that they really want right now, how likely is it that they would have a more personal relationship with them than you do right now? Lets face it when was the last time you even spoked to them, just as long as they keep sending orders in.
How soon would you identify that one of your top 20% of clients who you do 80% of your business with is under threat? Would you know soon enough to do something about it? How important do you think that might be in these troubled days? Want more leads and deals?