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Why do customers buy from you?

This may seem to be an odd question. They buy because you offer what they want at the right price?

But is that the only consideration?

For faceless organisations like the larger online retailers, customers benefit from the huge range of goods on offer, easy payment options and reviews from previous buyers.

Competing on these terms is difficult for smaller businesses which prompts the question, what can we offer our customers aside from providing what they need at the right price?

One point of difference is that smaller businesses have an opportunity to develop person to person relationships that are not available on a larger scale. Prior, to the recent lock-down, proprietors will have met their customers face-to-face. They will have shared experiences of working in their local business community; they will get to know their customers, how they run their businesses, which goods and services they need.

Micro-sized businesses should exploit this ability to know their customers as larger organisations cannot compete at this level.

What we are discussing in this article is about developing working relationships with your clients that make them feel at home when they pick up the phone to buy from you. You will know their name, their back-ground, their previous buying patterns. Larger organisations may be able to duplicate some of this familiarity by automating past order processes, but there is no substitute for that person to person exchange that builds business friendships and locks-in goodwill.

And so, the next time a customer rings, take an extra minute to ask a couple of open questions: how are you, how is business? And pick-up on past conversations, did you manage to sort out that job you discussed last month?

As long as you get the basics right, supplying goods and services at the agreed price and delivery date, then your relationship with your customers will encourage loyalty and help you build and retain a solid client base for your business.

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