Success as an entrepreneur does not come easy, at least not the first time. It involves a lot of missteps, mistakes and failures. And it takes a lot of determination and perseverance to be able to get past those mistakes, learn from them, and then build something better out of them.
The difference between giving up and persisting can be as simple as practicing the five golden tips below:
1. Treat every customer like they are special. You don’t get to treat one customer better because his/her purchase is 100 dollars more than the other customer.
You give more services or more products to someone who pays more, but the quality of those products or services should be the same regardless of the amount paid. This is how you get customer loyalty.
2. Be an expert of your business. Customers expect that you know everything about the business you’re running, so when they ask you questions you should be always ready to answer. They assume that you know how to do what they’re paying you to do.
Even though you don’t know the answers to some questions (no one can know everything) avoid answering “I’m sorry, I don’t know that”. You should give answers along the lines of “Give me a moment to verify something, and then I’ll get back to you with the info” or “Let me check that information for you for just a moment”.
3. Always keep your customers’ interests in mind no matter what you do. Success begins with having the right mindset.
Being an entrepreneur is basically about improving certain aspects of life of your customers. When their life becomes easy, yours become easy too. When they’re happy, you’re happy too.
4. Make the best of technology. Equip yourself with the latest software that can not only improve your productivity but also make your service or products more accessible and convenient to use to your customers.
Have a website with a responsive template so that customers can easily view on their mobile device. Our presenter, Ellen Williams spoke about this at the MACs Perfect Pitch event during her mobile marketing presentation. Always have your phone with you in case customers/clients need to contact you. Offer customers different modes of payment – cash, credit card, debit card, online transfers, and electronic checks. There are several payment websites and software that let you do this.
5. Go the extra mile. You don’t want your business to become like the vast majority of the businesses out there. Standardised, ubiquitous but never the purple cow. You need to stand out. And one of the most effective ways to achieve that is to always offer your customers something extra.
Ever heard the pizza story of Tony Hsieh?
"One night, he and some vendors returned to a hotel room late. Someone in the group was craving pizza and was told room service had ended. As a joke, Hsieh suggested calling Zappos. You can probably guess the end of the story—even though Zappos doesn't sell pizza, the customer service rep found a list of local pizza places that would deliver to the hotel."
Well, this doesn’t mean that you need to cater to all the demands of your customers, but if it’s the first time, it’s okay to do so. Tell your customer that as a sign of goodwill, you’ll do it but also remind them that they need to contact the pizza company next time they want pizza, not you.
Over to you..
So what do you think of the tips above? Are you already implementing them? If you have more tips or ideas to add, please share them below.