Why should businesses trade with you as we enter an economic recession.

We hear so much doom and gloom in the media about the UK economy moving forward post Covid and that does not even include the potential for further disruption potentially caused by Brexit in 2021!

However, whilst everyone can see that there are harsh times ahead for the UK economy it does not mean that the future is completely bleak, and Armageddon is not around the corner.

Business will still take place; buyers will buy and sellers will sell – however the question you must ask is why someone will buy from you.

The knee jerk reaction to take in such circumstances is to compete on price, I am not going to say that there is never an occasion when this is not appropriate, especially so if you are holding stock that has a limited shelf life.

Indeed, what customer or prospect would not take advantage of a price reduction

However, price competition for its own sake will just result in lower margins. If you are not in control of and understand your costs you could actual incur trading losses and ultimately the demise of your business.

When you look at the markets that you trade in it is almost certain that you will find there is price differentials between most if not all suppliers. In such cases they are differentiating the product based on non-price variables such as quality of the product, increased warranty, premier customer service. Improvement in process or operation, reviews etc.

Even when suppliers are price matching, they are still competing on these non-price variables, otherwise their marketing materials or website would just shout out the price and no more.

What I’m getting at is that all companies are trying to differentiate their product or service whether they compete on price or not as they are aware that price is only one small determiner of the buying decision of each individual customer.

First and foremost, the customer will buy from the supplier that will satisfy their needs and requirements best. As such you as the seller have to be the best positioned supplier who understands your market, the buyer personas and how your product can best meet individual needs and where necessary educate the buyer on how you can add additional value that they were previously unaware existed.

The last paragraph seems obvious in its simplicity, but I wager that most companies pay scant regards to these basic. The bigger companies have their focus groups, marketing departments, their analytics, the smaller companies might supplement cheaper options such as experience and being closer to the customer.

Whatever the company, the fundamental question is do they use this information to maximise their sales effort. It is not enough to know why you are better placed to serve your customer but are you engaging in a sales process that is relevant to the market in which you trade and which is streamlined to produce increase revenue at a reduced cost to the business overall thereby improving both productivity and efficiency

Are you sure that you are speaking to the right customer? Do you understand how your product or service benefits your customer and do you do a good job conveying all the benefits in a way that your customer understands. Are you asking the right questions to ensure that you are engaging with customers that are ready to buy? Are you recording this information and using it in a standard format that allows you to accurately forecast sales and ensure efficient delivery or implementation of your product? Do you have a customer centric approach to ongoing account management that leads to repeat business and referrals?

If the answer to any of the above is no or you’re not sure then you are potentially leaving money on the table by chasing the wrong clients with the wrong message, asking the wrong questions and inputting this information into an inefficient sales process. This manifest into time and effort associated with lost sales, potential onboarding issues, poor customer service, a lack of a good account management and loss of repeat business and referrals.

Fresh Eyes Associates can help any business to review their sales strategy, process and account management activities. Working with your business we provide focus on key elements which should provide tangible results in the short to medium term thereby offering a quick return on your investment.

Fresh Eyes is not a sales coaching business providing a cookie cutter service that offers a core programme spread over a number of weeks but a tailored consultancy that works with your business to understand your market, your customers and provide a sales process that aligns to your customers’ needs and ultimately results in an increase in sales at a lower cost to your business.

We can work with you for as little as half a day through to a retained basis, but we always focus on providing simple, easy to follow advice that is quick to implement.

For more information check out our website www.fresheyesassociates.co.uk

Or contact John Donoghue on 07971 052857 or email john@fresheyesassociates.co.uk

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