Friday, June 12, 2015

Client inputs

     Free daily tips, information, advice, and ideas
     to help you better manage your small business.

     Clients and customers tell you what they want. These conversations can be a gold mine of new ideas for your business.

     Example: Jake is an herbalist. In a conversation with a local farmer who supplies fresh herbs and veggies to chefs, Jake learned that a big problem on the farm was purslane. The plants seemed to pop up everywhere, and the farmer was spending an inordinate amount of time weeding out the purslane. Jake suggested that the purslane might be an extra crop to be exploited. The farmer might offer the fresh purslane to his chef clients. Suddenly, both the farmer and the chefs have a new ingredient for omelets, salads and side dishes. And the farmer is calling Jake more frequently.

     Example: Eve runs a restaurant. It's a popular lunch destination for corporate workers in the area. One of her customers asked Eve if she might be planning to get app for the restaurant. Eve said she would investigate. Today, Eve's restaurant has an app. Customers can check out the daily specials and order ahead--their lunch will be ready for them when they arrive.

     Example: John is a chiropractor. One of his clients asked him to recommend a nutritionist--this lady wanted help getting in better shape. Today, John has arranged with a certified nutritionist to be on hand every Friday to talk about nutrition, make recommendations and hand out information. He announces the sessions on social media every week. These sessions are bringing new clients to John's chiropractic practice. He is considering making a more permanent arrangement with the nutritionist. 

     Example: Eric is an attorney with a private practice. While working with a client on a business problem, the client asked how to handle a simple traffic ticket. This led Eric to think about how to use this to bring in new clients. Today, Eric offers a series of informational brochures on common problems--how to react to a lawsuit, simple traffic problems, different ways to organize a business, what to do when you get a subpoena, and more. No legal advice is offered, just information. He has these brochures displayed in his office and on his website and on social media. They enhance Eric's reputation and bring in new clients. 

     It's the marketplace in action. Put your ear to the ground. Listen to your clients and customers. They can point the way to a better future.

     If your clients are not talkative, engage them in conversation. Talk with them. Ask questions. Listen. 

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