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Breaking through to the customer

# 43 May 2015

There is fierce competition for the time and attention of customers. Besides having a full agenda, a lot of sales people are trying to get hold of your prospective customers, making it difficult to book a meeting with them. And if you do get a meeting, it is often challenging to get through mentally and to create interest in your offering.
Successful companies address both the quality and quantity aspects of their customer approach. They present a relevant message and are persistent enough to achieve the required sales calls.

Message
What unique message makes talking to your company worthwhile?
It is obvious that you must have an interesting and relevant message. The usual problem is that you make assumptions on what is important to the customers and develop a message that is irrelevant to them.
Asking the customer is not enough. They may not want to, have the energy, or even know themselves, the answer. For these reasons, conventional customer surveys will not work in developing strong messages.
A powerful message requires understanding the customer’s reality, their important issues, and what unique value we can contribute as suppliers.

Intensity/Frequency
Once you have a powerful message, you need the opportunity to present it. A physical meeting is essential – from the initial meeting to the follow up meetings to secure loyalty and repeat business.
How often sales people should meet the customer depend on a number of factors – type of product, complexity of the sales process, frequency of recurring sales, etc. Successful companies do not leave this frequency to chance. Too little contact and you risk having the ignored customer turn to the competition. Too much, and you risk irritating the customer and losing them.
The customer knows the answer of how much is just right – few companies find out.

Customer Perspective Study

A Customer Perspective Study will provide answers and build a powerful action plan on how to break through to the customer, by using the right message and the right intensity.
In the study you can measure how well you currently are addressing the most important issues of the customers and how well you compare with the competitors. The study will also uncover your company’s unique strengths and how these could be exploited.
Successful sales people are daring: They dare to challenge the customer and they dare to persist. Being daring is much easier once we understand the important issues for our customer and what type of attention they expect.