Customer Awareness Skills

Rely on your customer awareness skills to drive new business.

It is far more difficult – and costly – to find new customers than to keep your existing customers happy by enhancing their experience with your business; making sure they do not miss out through your negligence.

And making your first sale is easier if you are introduced to your prospect by a trusted colleague. That’s why business networking is so powerful – especially for smaller businesses.

These are two different customer awareness skills of the same approach – concentrating on people who are less skeptical about what you offer and may even be very inclined to do business with you.

Keep in touch with your customers. Keep them informed, give great advice, and perhaps even making recommendations. If you only supply a single type of service or product, then making sure everyone you deal with knows what you provide and the benefits they gain is very easy, isn’t it?

Or is it? Because a wise business owner always looks for innovations, for new ideas that complements what they offer. And sometimes – as the variety of products or services expands – we forget to tell existing clients about all the new solutions we’ve introduced.

In fact, if your company has a sales force and a wide array of products and services, are you confident that everyone knows the full product range and potential benefits – and actively promotes them?

Go through this exercise with your sales staff (or just do it for yourself)

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Customer Awareness Skills Exercise

1) Take a piece of paper. Ask your sales team to list all the products and services your company provides – including any variations. Now compare the lists – do they all match? If they do, then you have a great sales force because they are selling from a strong position, knowing what you can provide.

2) Now ask your sales people to think about their accounts and mark which products they have told their customers about. Are there any gaps? If so, the gaps reveal selling opportunities for your sales team. A selling opportunity may not be necessarily a direct sale to the customer, they may not need that particular product or service. However, if your customer knows you can supply it, they can recommend you when someone mentions they are looking for that service or product.

This is a good exercise to repeat, just to keep it fresh in your mind. It helps you develop your customer awareness skills.

If you like visual reminders, then an Opportunity Matrix could work for you and your team – perhaps on an office whiteboard or in a spreadsheet.

This Data Analysis Video teaches you the basic tools for understanding, summarizing, and making future predictions with your collected data. Includes MS Excel templates.

Data Analysis Video

Opportunity Matrix

1) Draw a grid shape. You need enough columns going across to list all your products and services in the top row; show one product/service at the top of each column, starting from the second column.

2) In the first column of the rows list your current customers.

3) Choose 2 strong colors. One to represent ‘Told’, the other for ‘Sold’ (you could add a third for ‘Referred’; and use it when your customer has recommended your company to someone else). I’ve used Told=Yellow; Sold=Green in my example chart).

4) When you tell your customer about another one of your products; you have supplied information so you know he is fully aware of it and the benefits it offers, mark the color for ‘Told’ against that company in the column for the specific product/service you’ve explained.

5) When your customer buys that product/service from you add the ‘Sold’ color.

6) If your customer recommends your product / service to someone else; ‘refers you’, you can fill in the ‘Referred’ color.

If you include step 6 some of your boxes may have the Told and Referred, but not the Sold color.

Now you can see, at a glance, which products your customers do not know about (in which case you can inform them) and, just as importantly, if they do know about the products whether they have bought from you or referred you to someone else.

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