Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Educating customers

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     to help you better manage your small business

     Your clients and customers don't always know the best solution to their problem. This is an opportunity for you to educate them--and grow your business at the same time.

     It's true in many businesses--dentists and therapists, computing and technology experts, landscaping and home remodeling, gift shops and health food stores, gyms and auto repair shops.

     It's up to you to dig beneath the surface, make certain you identify the problems, and offer solutions to make clients happy. Or, take them by the hand and educate them on the many additional possibilities open to them.

     Example: Frank is an expert in computer technology, social media, networking and more. He realized that people in small business understand the value of computers in accounting and taxes, but that they have little understanding of the value of social media. Frank began informal sessions to educate his clients in how to use social media to grow and expand their operations. These sessions were so successful, Frank expanded them. Now he's teaching his clients the use of social media--and attracting additional clients to his business.  

     Example: Jim is a specialist in home remodeling. He brings lots of experience to his visits with customers. He provides much more than just free estimates. If it's a kitchen, he quickly sketches out some possibilities, asking questions about the special needs of the cook--islands for special work, hanging racks for pans, storage for small appliances, etc. For offices, Jim discusses what kinds of work will be done there--placement of lighting and windows, storage cabinets and racks or shelving. If children are in the house, he reminds the client that the children will be growing up and leaving--what will they do with the extra space? 

     Educating your customers can transform the selling experience. It can turn one job into an on-going relationship. It can also set up future sales.

     More examples: A dentist concentrates on selling smiles, not crowns and fillings. An audiologist reminds clients that no one pays the bill until 60 days of satisfactory experience have passed. A landscaper shows his client what the new flower garden will look like using all the computer tools in his handy laptop. Lawyers educate clients on the laws applicable to the case at hand.

     Make educating your clients a part of your business. An educated client will return to you again and again--and refer others to you. 


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