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How to get the customer onboard

Now you'll get to hear something that everybody already knows. You know it. Your sales people know it. Your customers know it. But very few do anything about it.

”What's he babbling about?”

Well, all companies that can tie customers closer to themselves, win more business. But why do so few companies spend time really trying to get a closer relationship with their customers? Is it because of a lack of time? Lack of passion or interest? Is the task too difficult to measure? Don't they want to? I don't know the answer, but I know that those who work at this area earn greatly by making an effort!

The fact that so few companies bother to do this is wonderful news for you, because this is exactly what you will do this year. But, and this is where I usually encounter an educational problem – there's a hell of a difference between showing up in front of the customers with a cheesy smile planted on your lips and actually, genuinely feeling that the customers are the best friends a company can ask for and that it's the coolest thing in the world to be able to help them with whatever problems they may have.

So today, we'll talk about things that bring the customers aboard:

1. Solve the problem for the customer
Unless you can deliver the whole solution, make sure you have partners who will help the customer through you so that the customer only has to deal with one contact. We are drowning in choices today and just being able to pick up the phone and call you to get a problem solved, makes it easier for your customers to not even think about other alternatives.

2. Work to make your customers ”feel for” your business and what it stands for
Tell the story behind the company and add your own personality into it. Risky? Hmm, maybe it is, but on the other hand, you’ll get a particularly warm reception by those who can identify with you instead of a lukewarm reception from everyone.

3. Share your knowledge
Do it online and in the physical world just as much. Anyone who isn't afraid to share will always make new friends.

4. Examine and explain how you can give more to your clients
What do they want that you can't offer today? Reward all the ideas that will give you new ideas for services or products that your customers want. If you ask your customers how they use what you sell, you should listen also for things that they don't talk about. You must learn to read between the lines. If you sell copiers, it's certainly important that the paper is loaded into the copier and when the customers run out for paper, perhaps it would be a good idea to have your company's phone number printed on the last pack or printed on the copier so that customers know where to call without having to look for the number when they need to order new supplies. Copy machine vendors do this already, but the question is what can you do to sell more? Think about it.

5. But the most important is still  ...
Whatever you do to tie customers closer to you, there is no question of what ultimately will be the most important thing – to make them know that you value them so much! How are you going to show them that this year?

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

230 000 prescribes to his free newsletter "The 5 minute marketer"
Every week some 230,000 prescribers gets his free newsletter about 5 minute marketing.

"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.