Saturday, May 5, 2007

Understanding your Customers and be their Buddy!

It is possible to build a long lasting relation with your customers. Whether you are in a B2B or B2C market, your customers will always behave in some similar pattern. After all, you will always be dealing with human beings!

1. Understand the Pain Area of your Customers and Give them a Solution, not just a Product:

The key to marketing & selling success is based on how well one understands her customers and foresees their requirements. To do that one has to think like her customers and understand the “pains” they are suffering from.

To do that, each marketing & sales person should become the best “buddy” for each of her customers – she simply can’t afford to be just a vendor/supplier/marketer. She needs to build up a relation of trust so that her customers can believe that she is the best person who can provide them with the best solution, and not just push some products.

2. Understanding the customer’s Psychology - there are basically two types customers –

a. the “Visionaries” – want to be the first to use a product and build their vision around them for their companies, mainly the senior / top management, or for themselves
b. the “Pragmatics” – who want to make sure he has the best solution for their current problems, the ones who runs the show on the daily basis.

It is rather easy to build the dreams for the visionaries, but it is a real hard work to convert a pragmatic to a customer. And if the product is highly technical and requires product trials before an order is received, it is even more difficult with a pragmatic customer.

Therefore, understanding each segments and building the solution around them is the key.

To sum up:

To foresee the customers’ future requirement, keeping a hand on the pulse of the market and constantly innovating on the existing offering is the only way.

And, understanding the customers and building lasting relationship based on trust is the most effective way to success.

By – Susmita Das Gupta

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