When it comes to traditional marketing and the conversation around “value,” this attribute is typically seen from a cost perspective alone, as in how much are your clients willing to spend based on the benefits they perceive you have to offer. But, as society and consumers continue to evolve, the perception of value has also evolved. It’s no longer just the benefits your product/service have to offer them; but also, the values you hold as a company. Who is behind the brand and what mission/contribution are you seeking to make? Essentially, what will you give as you gain their business?
Consumers, too, hold values. And, it’s not about advancing your values alone; but being curious to discover and meet their needs and interests. People don’t want to be perceived as profit, they want to be people, valued for more than just the dollars they spend with your company. Of course, we all understand it is business; however, understanding the connection that is automatically built when a company-client relationship is established, is far more valuable. Beyond the financials, customers largely influence our bottom line as it relates to our reputation.
Here are four tips to increase the value of your company/client relationships:
- Focus your marketing efforts on new, current and past customers.
Most companies focus 90% of their marketing efforts on acquiring new customers. And, while this is normal for a new company, it’s unhealthy for other organizations. In fact, your potential to earn more lies with your existing base! The probability of selling to your existing customers is 60 – 70%, while your probability of selling to a new one is just 5 – 20%. Now, that’s not to say you should spend just 20% of your time focused on new customers either because the customer experience matters just as much (if not more)! However, it is possible (and recommended) to devise a marketing strategy focused on acquisition and retention. As for your past clients, if it didn’t end badly and there’s opportunity to provide further value, keep in touch and continue to nurture the relationship. You just never know when the opportunity to work together will come again. Or, they may even refer their friends to work with you!
- Stay curious and communicative.
When you lose sight of what your customers’ value and want, you risk losing your relevancy. Take Blockbuster or any number of other businesses that have more recently shutdown stores or perhaps their entire operation. Don’t be afraid to ask your customers why they do (or don’t) continue doing business with you? Don’t be afraid to ask your customers what they want, and whether you are meeting their needs with satisfactory service. 82% of customers will leave your business because of poor customer service; but 68% will leave because they simply perceive indifference. Don’t let your customer wonder if you’re thinking about them and how to bring them even greater value!
- Understand the intentions behind your marketing efforts.
Don’t just do it because everybody else is doing it. Instead, do it because it aligns with your values and intent. So many times, we get caught up in the actions of marketing and/or trying to keep up with our competition, that we don’t slow down enough to ask ourselves: what we really want to achieve with those efforts and if that’s a realistic expectation. Your business is unique, and your marketing strategies and actions should look that way too.
- Don’t just be in business. Grow your brand.
Lastly, it’s easier to offer greater value to your customers when they clearly understand what they should value. You may think it’s what you do or how you do it that makes you most valuable and unique; but, why you do it is also important. There will always be another business that does what you do, and maybe even a bit like how you do it too. But, when you add why you do it, you’ll discover your authenticity and brand! You can have a business and you can market that business, but the way to truly standout and offer (and receive) the greatest value is by discovering your authentic brand!
It’s no secret that there are more and more businesses every day. In fact, there are 15.8 million people working as entrepreneurs in the United States alone! However, the businesses that recognize the importance and intrinsic value of the company-client relationship will stand the tests of time and grow their brands and businesses to their greatest potential!