January 22, 2019

6 Ways to Make 2019 Your Best Year

By Meridith Elliott Powell

Get Out in Front
Understand that in today’s economy the sales process starts without you. How your customers and prospects gain information and make decisions has changed. Right now, they’re Googling, reading articles, and talking to your current customers. And they’re using that information to decide whether to move forward or not in the sales process. If they’re actively looking for information, actively asking people for their opinion, and if your name, your business is not coming up, then they’re behind, not out in front of the sales process. So, get out FRONT and ensure your name and your business is smack in the path of where your best customers and prospects are looking!

Growth Happens Inside Out
To grow your business in 2019, focus first on your existing customers. The happier they are, the better taken care of they are, the longer they’ll stay, and the more they’ll tell others to do business with you. Prospects will verify you before they do business with you. Meaning they’ll ask your existing customers, they’ll go online and read reviews, and they’ll look at your ratings. You need to make sure your existing customers are saying very positive things if you want your prospects to give you a second look.

No Barriers to Entry
You need to be so easy to do business with. Understand that in this economy they’re lucky to have every customer or prospect you have. They have choices, the moment you put up a barrier, make it difficult to do business with you, is the moment they’ll move on. Now is the time to look at what it’s like to do business with you from the customer’s perspective. Are you sending them through a long phone tree? Are you asking irrelevant questions? Making them to fill out forms they don’t like and you don’t really need? The easier you are to do business with, the more business you will do.

Release Your Inner Gumby
How flexible are you? Can you go with the flow, and bend whichever way the market dictates? This year discover your inner Gumby, and be ready to flex your plan when new opportunities arise, when new challenges or obstacles appear, and when new competitors and products enter the market. Entrepreneurs and technology are changing the landscape of our industries at a rapid pace. You need to be just as focused on what’s happening outside of your business as inside it. Take the time, at least quarterly to evaluate what’s happening in your market – with customers, competitors, your industry and technology. Ask yourself what if anything, do I need to change? Then release your inner gumby to respond before the marketplace forces change on you.

Don’t Screw Up
Consistency equals trust, and while you’re working hard to provide amazing customer service, you need to make sure that every member of your team is on the same page. For the customer experience to be exceptional, it needs to be consistent. When customers have the power, when they have choices, they are less forgiving. So, take your customer service goal for 2019 up another level and strive hard not to screw it up.

Transactions Are Passe
When was the last time you called a customer out of the blue with an idea? Called them with an idea to make their business better or improve their life? If you’re just checking in, if your best customers are calling you or if your clients are coming to you with questions, then you’re not selling, you’re filling orders and about to hand your best customers over to the competition. In today’s marketplace, customers don’t need you to buy the product, they need you to add value. Transactional selling is a thing of the past. The worst thing that can happen to you is when a customer finds out about a product you sell from someone else. Make 2019 the year you leave transactional selling behind and you start adding real value to the customer relationship.

Meridith Elliott Powell www.valuespeaker.com.