As a Professional Business Coach and Marketing Specialist, I have a great deal of experience in helping companies to develop and grow, and to mount successful marketing campaigns to raise their profile and to increase their number of customers. In a series of articles over the coming months, I am going to share with you some of the advice that I have given over the years. Advice which work and have proved effective in the real world of business.

These are not ideas and strategies which you read in a book. They are not theory. They are real concrete ideas that work. Many of them I have used in my own businesses and others I have used in other companies that have engaged my services. I am confident that you will find ideas that you can immediately put into use in your business.

Now, whatever business you are in, whatever your product or service, there is one thing that you will need if you are to survive. And that is customers. You need enough customers buying from you, consistently, in order to make it in business. Without customers you die.

If customers are so important, then why do we often see companies failing to treat them properly? Why do we see such poor levels of customer care? Why are most people not loyal to a particular business but will buy their products or services from anywhere? The answer is that the majority of companies that you see on the high street, are in the business to make money and not to serve people.

Their focus is on trading, making sales, taking money, giving change and moving on to the next customer. It’s all about them and not about the customer. Today I am going to get you to think about your business in a new way. I am going to get you to think about running your business from the point of view of the customer and not from your point of view.

You see, if you run your business from your point of view, you will do things that are convenient to you but if you run your business from the point of view of the customer, you will be interested in their needs, and you will serve them. And when people feel that you care about them and are looking after their needs, they will appreciate it and come back repeatedly to buy from you.

So the next time a customer walks into your shop, don’t think “here comes a customer, let me try and make a sale” but instead, say to yourself “here comes a customer, how can I help him to get what he wants.” This simple mental shift in how you operate, will result in a remarkable transformation in your business. I have seen it happen over and over. The trick is to help people to buy and not to sell to them.
It is easier to lose a customer than to win one. According to the Institute of Customer Care, three quarters of prospective business is lost on the customers first contact with the organisation. Some of the main reasons for this are: lack of courtesy, inferior service, mistakes and errors, negative attitudes, untidy appearance, poor teamwork and a lack of confidence in management.

Whenever I walk into a store to browse around, I get a little annoyed by the over enthusiastic sales person who approaches me immediately and tries to sell to me. I don’t want to hear their well rehearsed sales patter at this point, I just want to browse around to see what’s on offer. I tell them that I don’t need them at this point but if I do I will call them. What I really mean is leave me alone, I will come to you if I need you. Some take the hint and walk away and others stand uncomfortably close just waiting for me to ask them a question.
What is going on here is that the sales person is just looking for a sale. He is focused on his needs. He doesn’t care about me. He just wants to sell me something. I on the other hand, have my own needs and none of them are being addressed here. So what do I often do, walk out and try the shop next door.
Does this sound familiar? Has it happened to you? The truth is that this happens every day in shops all over the country. And its not just shops of course, poor customer service happens in all types of businesses in all types of industries all over the country.

A salesman’s primary objective is to help customers which in the long term will be far more profitable than making sales which is short term. So you should focus on things that makes the customer satisfied and not on making a sale.

Selling creates a sale, helping people to buy creates customers. The difference is all in the attitude. In selling the attitude is trying to make the customer buy what we have whereas helping people to buy means looking at it from the opposite point of view ie what the customer wants or needs and seeing if we can match it with what we have. If we don’t have it, we can order it, make it, or refer the customer to another shop.
When we leave the customer satisfied, they will return. It’s no use making a sale which will leave the customer dis-satisfied. Help the customer to buy what they want and help them to feel good about it.
A salesman should say to himself “I want to help as many people as possible” and not “I want to make as much sales as possible.”