Dealer Spotlight: A To Z Vet Supply

An Innovator In E-Commerce

Online shopping; some say it is a double-edged sword, but it is here to stay. It is an efficient way to purchase the supplies a person needs and wants without fighting crowds and pushy salespeople. Others contend that it takes away from local businesses. However, one BioZyme® dealer, who is an innovator in e-commerce, has found his niche in the online retail business while educating his consumers.

Chris Mallon, owner and manager of A to Z Vet Supply (www.atozvetsupply.com) in Dresden, Tennessee, was one of the first pet supply sellers to have an online business, back in 2003, when the internet was still the “wild, wild west.” Although the transition from a catalog to a website didn’t happen over night and not without trial and error, his company has grown, experienced some website changes; and he’s excited to launch a fresh designed, custom website in the very near future.

“We look at our business differently. I’m not a widget-seller. I’m an educator. I travel around the country and speak at conventions and educational seminars [for dog breeders]. The backbone of our business is dog breeding. We work with dog breeders to educate them on a sciencebasis just like BioZyme does, on nutrition and vaccinating and worming and all these things they need to bring healthy puppies to market and what happens beyond,” Mallon said. “Puppies grow up in a breeder’s environment and then they leave to go to a new household or go to a pet store to be sold. That’s a whole new environment and that just shuts down their system. Of course, the Amaferm® in the Vitalize® Dog Recovery Gel is a great thing to send along with that puppy to keep its system intact and even if it stresses, there’s no impact on its digestive tract and it won’t have diarrhea, etc., etc… So, we educate people on these things.”

Mallon said education is vital to what he does. Once he or his staff has educated a consumer on a product or how to use a product, the sale is secondary. When a consumer understands the product, the sale isn’t as challenging to make. And once they start using a product they trust that works, they don’t turn back. Then, they start telling their friends who tell their friends and referrals come pouring in. He said that is how he’s used the Vitalize Dog Recovery Gel and Vita Charge® Liquid Boost to grow his business during the past two years.

“I’ve got people hooked on those products. I gave a great educational seminar, so they try the products. Once they implement them, there’s no reason for them to think about it again because they keep coming back and are like, ‘wow, this really works!’”

As a pioneer in animal supply e-commerce, Mallon offers three tips to set yourself apart in online retail.

  1. Educate your consumer. The only way Mallon said you will set yourself apart from your competitor is to provide education. Without a consumer being able to hold and “experience” the product, they need to feel connected to it. That might be with a testimonial blog or video, but make sure to offer more than a product picture, description and price. He said when people do visit his website, he hopes they call the 800-number, but if they do not, the information they need to know more about the product and make a buying decision is available directly on the website.
  2. Invest in a website. “Websites are the cheapest salesperson you will ever invest in and the more money you put into that salesperson, the better off you’ll be because that website is working 24/7, seven days a week for your initial cash outlay.” Make sure your website is user friendly, on a reliable platform and contains the items that you carry in your store, if you have a storefront.
  3. Prepare for the future. Mallon said that by 2025, its predicted 90% of all online orders will be submitted via cell phone – not a desktop computer or tablet, so when you do decide to join the world of e-commerce, make sure your website can be pushed through on a cell phone.

In addition to its website, A to Z Vet Supply is also found on social platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Mallon said he uses those tools to help draw people in to find his website. Although he uses the Promoboxx content on the Facebook page, he said his typical content is funny dog videos that people will watch, then they see his website, visit that and perhaps call him with a question. Another valuable tool he recommends is Google Analytics, a free resource to track and reports website traffic.

Yes, online shopping is here to stay. A to Z Vet Supply has proven itself an innovator in the digital information and retail space. Chris Mallon uses his skills and knowledge to educate before the sale, being a true champion of “care that comes full circle.”

Technology Can Assist With Customers Service Success

There’s no doubt technology has evolved a lot in the last decade; even the last one to five years, we’ve seen and experienced technological advances that our parents or grandparents never would have fathomed. A lot of these advances have made life and business more efficient, and as the technology continues to evolve, those efficiencies will also continue to increase.

However, when it comes to doing business, especially in agriculture and rural areas, the value of a firm handshake and face-to-face interaction can’t be replaced by any amount of technology. Yet, there are some advances that can help simplify your business and help you create more time for those personal interactions.

Customer Databases

If you don’t already, you should have a customer database system to track your customers and their orders, keep their pertinent information and log your interactions with them. Several software options exist, but if you are just getting started or have kept these details on your handy yellow legal pad for years, consider even a simple Excel spreadsheet.

Keep track of all family member names, contact information including address, phone number and email, record important dates like when they purchase particular products, when they host their annual production sale and even their birthdays. Track when you’ve communicated with them or if they have asked questions you need to follow up on. Keeping track of your communications will help you remember to check in on them on a regular basis without seeming overbearing or pesky.

Portable Technology

Keeping a tablet or iPad with you when you make a customer visit is a smart move. And with Internet connectivity getting better with 4G and plans of 5G later in 2020, the ability to access those tools will become even better. Perhaps you are visiting a customer who has questions about the products or wonders what kind of Concept•Aid® to use, you can pull out your tablet and show them the Concept•Aid® Product Navigator or other online tools. We realize that not every corner of the countryside has these capabilities, but if you do, it will make talking to a customer a little easier and help answer questions as you go.

Data Security

Some folks are just downright leery of anything that comes through the world wide web. And really, who can blame them? However, since news of data breaches have entered the mainstream media, consumers have developed a greater awareness of how their data is treated, and there is greater corporate responsibility around data privacy. New security tools are emerging for both companies and individuals, and as long as people remain aware, it is now becoming easier to do more business online with these increased security measures.

Text Messaging

An increasing amount of communication is being done via text message. Many people still prefer a phone call or face-to-face conversation, but the younger generation relies on texts to have the written reminders and the ability to respond on their time. Texting can be an effective communication tool if you are sending a reminder about a meeting or order, or if you know the person has a busy schedule, it is a good way to request a call back at their convenience. And, texts will always be there in the hand or on the wrist of the recipient.

The need for personal interaction can never be replaced, but with the help of some of these technological advances, you can work smarter and not harder. Consider technology your office assistant that allows you more time to talk to customers and potential customers. With more time to make sales calls, you will be able to reach more people and watch your business grow.

Master Dealer Training Program Provides Resources

Information is power. The more informed you are when talking to your customers and potential customers, the more empowering you will be. Although there is nothing wrong with admitting you don’t have an answer readily available and you will find the answer, you are going to shine brighter and perhaps snag that sale when you have top-of-mind product knowledge ready on the fly. That’s why BioZyme® developed the Master Dealer Training Program and Advanced Master Dealer Training Program to help empower and train its dealers.

Since its inception, nearly 200 dealers have completed the Master Dealer training. More than 100 of those have finished the second phase – year 2 of Master Dealer Training. The Master Dealer program is a series of online training modules that cover a multitude of topics. A passed quiz must be completed with each module in order to complete the training program. In addition, a dealer must carry three out of four product lines every six months. Currently, Vita Charge® and Vitalize® are grouped together as one product line.

“This is a great training tool with helpful information on Amaferm®, all product lines, nutrition, effective marketing and overall business tips for all new dealers and great brush-up information for existing dealers. By completing the Master Dealer and Advanced Master Dealer programs, our dealers have more confidence to go out and promote BioZyme products and their business,” said Jennifer Miller, Outreach Support Manager.

Getting Started

The Master Dealer program allows individuals to complete the program at their own pace, and it allows multiple employees from the same dealership to participate. To get individualized employee login-ins to the Online Dealer Center, contact Miller or your Outreach Support Coordinator.

Educational modules for Year 1 include overviews of each product line and how Amaferm works with each of the of the various segments and each species. Year 2 covers topics that are more business and marketing oriented as well as more in-depth on selling specific products.

Once an individual has been a Master Dealer for one year, he or she will receive an email that reminds him or her to enroll in the Year 2 program. On-demand courses are also created and launched with new products or product changes, like transitioning from paste to gel, to keep dealers in the know.

The Benefits

In addition to adding to your knowledge base and becoming a more empowered dealer, there are other benefits to achieving the Master Dealer status. Once a dealer or an employee within a dealership passes all the courses and meets the product requirements of carrying three of four product lines, that dealer will show up on the BioZyme Dealer Locator with a Master Dealer logo. You will also receive a Master Dealer Kit, which includes a Master Dealer jacket and a Master Dealer sign you can hang up in your dealership. Remember, each employee who completes the training is eligible to receive a jacket.

Once a dealer has completed the Year 2 courses, he or she will receive a Master Dealer Yeti cup and VitaFerm® caps. Press releases about both the Master Dealer and Advanced Master Dealer achievements are written and distributed to ag media in the state of the Master Dealer by the BioZyme Marketing Team each month.

Information is power. The more information you have, the more easily you will be able to talk to the users and potential customers in your area. Become a Master Dealer today. It’s a simple way to train your employees and help them be more effective when it’s time to reach out to customers.

Digital Marketing Is An Efficient Way To Reach Customers

Marketing is essential to your growth as a business. Yes, many dealers rely on word-of-mouth as their number one marketing tool, but as more people become connected via their phones, tablets and even smart watches, digital marketing efforts are increasing. The BioZyme® marketing team has several ways it can work with dealers to simplify this cost-efficient method to reach existing and potential customers.

Promoboxx

Promoboxx is a digital tool that connects BioZyme’s national marketing efforts to its local dealers. The BioZyme marketing team creates social media content for its product lines each month and generates posts that dealers can publish on their own Facebook business pages. It saves time and resources of your already limited staff, and if you sign up for “auto share” in settings, the posts are automatically posted to your page.

“The biggest benefit to our dealers is that it is content that is going to marry up with what we say on a national level and because we do such a good job of pull-through national marketing, this is going to look like something their customers are going to have seen before. So, people are more likely to click on it and engage with it because they probably also like our Sure Champ® page, for example, and they are very comfortable with the look and the feel and how that content is presented,” said Ashley Fitzsimmons, BioZyme Inc., Regional Marketing Manager.

In addition to the similar look and feel to the national advertising, other benefits include the fact that busy dealers don’t have to create and plan a social media calendar regularly, and fresh content comes out monthly for each of the six product lines. For dealers that are interested in Dealer Reward Points, Fitzsimmons said 250 points are rewarded per quarter for dealers who engage in Promoboxx for that quarter.

Dealers who use Promoboxx are not limited to only the content on Promoboxx. They can use a combination of the BioZyme-created content from Promoboxx while also posting their own organic content on their Facebook page. And, if the brand has provided downloadable assets as part of a campaign, you can download the assets and publish/post them via your social channels outside of Promoboxx, so the post looks like it is an original from you.

Since BioZyme started making Promoboxx available to its dealers, dealer engagement through Promoboxx as a marketing tool has grown 270%, Fitzsimmons reported. It’s not a one-size fits all approach, and each dealer uses the tool at his or her comfort level.

Email Marketing

“I think email marketing is fantastic, and it is super underutilized,” Fitzsimmons said.

In an age where every marketing dollar spent counts, and reach and engagement matter, email marketing makes perfect sense. It is a free tool, that when used properly, can help you reach a large audience with little effort.

Fitzsimmons encourages dealers to create and build their customer email list. Once a customer database of email addresses is built, it is simple to send reminders about your in-store promotions, new products or product updates, or producer meetings. By using a platform like Mailchimp or Constant Contact you can also see analytics and determine effectiveness of your email blasts.

“Email blasts are a great way to more quickly and easily talk to your customers about the advantages of the BioZyme products or new product alerts. It doesn’t cost anything, but some time to build your customer database. It’s a really great tool when used sparingly, and we’d love to help you with it,” she said.

Website Banner Ads

A final digital tool that Fitzsimmons reminds dealers about is the use of the web banner ad. She said she has worked with several dealers who have a good web presence to create these ads that when clicked on, link to the BioZyme website for more in depth information, without bogging down the dealer’s web page with all that information.

“I’ve had some dealers who have been able to convince customers to add Amaferm® into a custom ration based off the information received off those click-throughs,” she said.

Again, web banner ads are an easy way to communicate and educate customers and potential customers about your products without spending resources and they can help you reach a potentially larger audience who is always connected to the online world.

For more information about any of these services, contact your Area Sales Manager or read more in the Online Dealer Center.

Letters From Lisa – March 2020

Use new methods to create something new… Innovation

Cultures of innovation are naturally dynamic. Employees think of new ideas and try them on the fly. Processes and procedures are fluid. There often is not one right answer to a problem, but rather experimentation drives many projects, efforts, assignments and ultimately opportunities for improvement. When all that is documented and discussed by the team, real innovation starts happening.

Fundamentally, innovation means introducing something new into your business. This could be:

  • improving or replacing business processes to increase efficiency and productivity, or to enable the business to extend the range or quality of existing products and/or services
  • developing entirely new and improved products and services often to meet rapidly changing customer or consumer demands or needs.

Innovation can mean a single major breakthrough – e.g. a totally new product or service. However, it can also be a series of small, incremental changes. In any case, innovation is not tweaking. Innovation is doing something totally different.

In addition, innovation does not mean acquiring new technology. We always think that new software, new equipment, new inventory scanners, new walkie talkie technology or a Smart TV will make us innovative. That’s just not true. What makes you innovative is HOW you use that technology, or actually not just how you use all your resources, but how you approach everything you do.

Can you use technology in an innovative way? Absolutely, but the innovation occurs after the acquisition, not by the acquisition.

Think through what needs to be fixed, and what could be improved, to prime yourself to recognize opportunities as they are revealed. Some good examples are below:

  • Want to offer more producer meetings statewide, but don’t have the resources to pay for all the travel that would entail? Use Skype for training, a possible solution to the opportunity.
  • Use text messages to communicate when it seems only a few of your contacts answer phone calls or emails.
  • Design a system that helps pool shared data to better understand how each customer is served across the different types of providers they use, maybe there is a way for both of you to grow business by seeing crossover opportunities or holes neither of you is filling.

Technology is a powerful driver of both the evolution and proliferation of innovation, but don’t think you can’t innovate until you can afford a 3D printer. You can innovate every minute or every day by how you think, change and treat people.

Dealer Spotlight: 4 UP Livestock LLC

Dealer Relies on Word of Mouth to Build Business

Word of mouth marketing is likely one of the original marketing strategies; yet it is one that 4 UP Livestock LLC still relies on for its success today. Although this dealer is somewhat new to the BioZyme® family, Kirstie and Brian Wachholtz are not new to building relationships in the business world. The couple, from southeast Wyoming, raise cattle and Brabant Belgian horses. Their BioZyme relationship story begins with a stud horse that didn’t handle hauling so well last year. That’s where VIP and Master Dealer Keith Micke encouraged them to try the Vitalize® Equine Recovery Paste (now Vitalize Equine Recovery Gel). The rest as they say, is history.

“We went to the Wyoming Equine Extravaganza last year and took some of our Brabant Belgian studs, and one of them was not acclimating very well. Keith brought over a tube of recovery paste, because it was still paste at the time, and said ‘Hey, I guarantee you need to do this. He’ll drink, he’ll settle down, he’ll be good.’ In half-anhour that horse was acting like he was at home,” Kirstie said.

On the way home, Kirstie and Brian swung by Keith’s, loaded up on products for their cattle and more Recovery Paste, and soon after became a sub-dealer for K Triangle Feed since Keith didn’t have anyone in that part of the state. They have capitalized on their own positive experiences with the VitaFerm® and Vitalize products in addition to their relationships from their off-farm jobs to promote and sell the products. Kirstie is a licensed practitioner for pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy for horses and livestock. Brian is a farrier. Both work with clients in several Western states and travel to livestock and horse shows and rodeos, and while they are traveling can share the messages of the BioZyme products.

“With what I do, I was having a hard time finding a good solid electrolyte paste, where I felt that the cells got to metabolize. What I do is dubbed “cellular exercise” and with the therapy that I offer, when those cells get that exercise, you need something to feed that mitochondria, so I started incorporating the Recovery Gel into any diet where they have issues. Or, even if a horse has an injury, I have started incorporating it. I sell it at every show I go to from Nevada to Texas, it has traveled everywhere,” Kirstie said.

She adds that the prebiotics in the products work to assist the animals that she and her husband are helping since a healthy gut means reduced inflammation in the body. However, without a loyal and growing customer base, they wouldn’t have people to sell their goods and services to.

“Relationships are huge because in the cattle industry and the horse industry that’s still a large, large part of building clientele; it’s about actual relationships. You can’t sell a product if you don’t have a relationship because relationships of any sort create trust. Based on that trust, people will try a product or try a service they might not have tried in the first place,” she said.

Kirstie said one of her biggest customer success stories come from the Vitalize Alimend®. She had a client who was spending a lot of money to treat ulcers for her barrel horse. She started using the Vitalize Alimend, and she hasn’t had a problem since. She wasn’t winning anything and is now typically in the top three with the help of a horse with a healthy gut, thanks to Alimend.

She credits that success and others with the relationships she and Brian have built with their tried and true marketing method.

“It comes down to word of mouth. All of my husband’s and my clientele has been based off of word of mouth. We’ve never got a customer off Facebook. We’ve never got a client by our name coming up in a Google search. It’s been one person asking ‘Who’s your farrier? I need one.’ Or ‘Do you know someone who does holistic healing?’,” she said.

Nurturing Your Network Can Pay Dividends

Growing your business is important. Establishing a brand identity, promoting yourself and growing your customer base is imperative for growth. But, do you know what is even more critical to growing your business? Making sure your loyal customers remain satisfied and are treated with the best services and experiences possible. You simply must nurture your current network to experience growth.

Think about the last book you read or new restaurant you took your family or clients to. Did you make those purchase decisions based on an advertisement in a newspaper or did you make those decisions based on the recommendation of a person that you know and trust? Chances are you based your decisions from a friend’s recommendation because word-of-mouth messaging is so strong.

Studies show that the probability of selling to an existing customer ranges between 60 to 70%, where the chance of selling to a new customer is only 5 to 20%. Furthermore, it costs more than six times more to acquire new customers than it does to keep current, happy customers. So, keep your current customers pleased, and they will likely start singing your praises to others in their circles, who might also become your customers.

Steven Shapiro, an innovation consultant and speaker writes, “I’ve found that sometimes simply calling or writing a past client to say hello is enough. In doing so, when a new need arises, they think of me first. I often introduce clients to one another so that they learn about innovation from a peer, not just me. Sometimes I’ll send a small, personal gift. Or if I find a relevant article, I mail it. The key is not to sell to these customers, but to provide value. You want them to view you as an ally, not a vendor. And this repeated, friendly contact keeps you front and center in their minds. Should they (or a colleague) require someone with your skills, they will think of you first.”

Providing value is just one way of nurturing your network. When you provide value, your customers will remember that. Providing them a quality product that helps them reach their production goals is another way to provide value, as is delivering products, staying open later one or more nights a week and reminding customers when it is time to order certain products for specific production cycles.

A happy customer is the best marketing tool you can have to grow your business. Perhaps you could offer a customer loyalty program, where a loyal customer receives a gift or percentage off for referring a set amount of business or so many new customers. A satisfied customer will sing your praises to their friends and neighbors. However, they will likely share their discontent even louder, so make sure to keep your customers happy. Nurture your network and watch your business grow.

The Advantages of a Testimonial

It’s easy to get caught up in the everyday life of selling products to help your customers achieve their goals. But do you know what can make your marketing efforts more effective and simplified? Testimonials from loyal customers or respected industry individuals will go a long way in selling your goods and services. Testimonials are unbiased, often unprompted and come from peers in the industry that have often faced that same challenges as your prospective customers. Yes, you can relay all the benefits of a product, but those benefits become more meaningful when your prospect hears that the Rocking S Ranch improved its conception rates to 97%, especially in a year of drought.

There are several ways to incorporate testimonials into your marketing strategy. You can use testimonials in your advertising campaign. Post them to your website, even having a dedicated space for testimonials like BioZyme® Inc. does. You can feature testimonials on your social media each week using the hastag, #TestimonialTusesday. Or, often satisfied customers are glad to talk to others on behalf of your company and your brand at events like trade shows or producer meetings.

When compiling a testimonial, there are a few things to keep in mind to keep it genuine and effective. Remember, the purpose of testimonials is to create reliability and to convert prospects into new customers. Follow this 5-step approach to build up your testimonial strategy.

1. Be Selective. 

The key to testimonials is that they include specific product benefits that help prospects decide if they want to try your products or not. Therefore, your testimonials need to include specific information, not just “I like VitaFerm® Concept•Aid® and my cows do too.” Provide a testimonial that tells the benefits of the product: “We have been feeding VitaFerm® products for several years. VitaFerm Concept•Aid® plays an important role in the performance of our breeding cows and heifers, as well as our bulls. We see increased conception rates of our embryo pregnancies by 23%, and on our bulls, we see an improvement in semen quality.”

2. Add a Face.

Remember to include a photo to each testimonial to give it a persona. We might not always remember Tim Smith’s name, but when we see the man in his signature pearl snap shirt and beat up hat, we remember him as the guy who gets top dollar at the sale barn each year. Adding a face to your testimonial makes it more real and significantly increases the trust factor. Research has shown, that on web-based testimonials, adding a picture increases your click-through rate significantly.

3. Use them Everywhere.

Once you’ve got a testimonial, use it. You can add it to your print advertising, post it to your website, use it on social, make posters to hang at businesses around town, and even use it in mailers and texts.

4. Remember your Audience.

Be sure to capture testimonials for each potential customer you are trying to reach. You are trying to grow your market share in the cow-calf sector, be sure to get some testimonials from cattle producers. Perhaps, there are several horse farms in the area. Talk to an equine enthusiast who uses the product to get a testimonial from them. It doesn’t do any good to have one testimonial for one product line when you are selling multiple lines.

5. Never Be Fake.

The most important thing to remember is that testimonials are designed to establish trust and credibility. The most important rule in sharing testimonials is to use real testimonials from real customers. It’s not worth the risk to fake anything in your marketing plan, especially testimonials.

Testimonials are a great way of using established relationships and growing your customer base. Follow these simple steps to create your own testimonials and convert prospects to new customers.

Effective Use Of Producer Meetings Can Grow Your Business

Any time you get a group of like-minded people in a room to talk about solving their challenges, you will likely have a successful producer meeting. However, you can use the relationships you have already established to create an even more fruitful meeting. There are a few ways that using existing relationships when planning your next producer meeting can help build your business. Let’s explore.

  • Cooperate with another agricultural company.

Have you considered co-hosting your next producer meeting with another complementary agricultural company? Sure, the companies might have some overlap in customers, but you each will likely have some unique customers who could benefit from the other company’s products and services. Perhaps you could partner with an animal health company. And, for those young producers who are interested in show livestock, you might feature the Sure Champ® and Vita Charge® products during a youth workshop co-hosted by one of the show supply companies.

Area Sales Manager Ty McGuire said he likes to work with animal health companies who have the same goals for their customers as he does when planning a producer meeting. He adds that another benefit to cooperating with hosting these meetings is the cost savings since both companies will be sharing in the meal costs.

Building on these already established relationships gives you a leg up. It shows your potential customers that you are easy to get along with. It also provides an unspoken endorsement on the products and services you provide.

  • Encourage your customers to bring a guest.

Your customers are already likely attending, but you could offer an incentive for bringing a guest who has the potential to become a new customer. McGuire said he will go through his contacts the week before a meeting and text everyone within a 30-mile radius with a reminder about the meeting and encourage them to bring a guest. He likes to raffle off a product at the end of the meeting, which serves a dual purpose. First, it gets the attendees excited and engaged; next, it provides McGuire and the host dealer new names with contact information to follow up with.

“I like to raffle something off. It gives everyone an incentive to bring a guest. A 50-pound stress tub is the perfect raffle item. It’s something everybody can use,” he said.

  • Engage with the audience.

McGuire said he has a pretty good handle on the crowd before the meeting starts because he has either built a relationship with the customers through the dealers or met the customers during the meal. Once he starts his presentation, which he always begins by talking about Amaferm®, he will use the attendees’ names and engage with them during the presentation. He said calling them out by name and talking about their specific operation – cow/calf, club lamb, etc. – helps build trust and respect between those in attendance and himself.

  • Call upon your allies.

Word-of-mouth and testimonials go a long way in building trust and securing new customers. McGuire said he likes to have a veterinarian who either uses the products or is familiar with the products at each meeting and will extend a personal invitation to ensure his or her attendance. Veterinarians are trusted resources who will speak up about a product’s benefits and substantiate how the products work. It is also a good idea to have a well-respected producer who has had good results give a testimonial if they are attending. McGuire said he’s found he can build trust with prospects because of his own experiences in his own cattle operation.

Producer meetings are an efficient way to show appreciation to current customers and establish relationships with potential customers. Building on current relationships at these meetings makes them even more effective and gives the dealer a leg up in building their business. Like any other enterprise, use your resources, count on your relationships and use those relationships to grow your customer base.

Letters From Lisa – February 2020

Consumers are a confident bunch. If a business doesn’t know what a customer’s likes or dislikes, he or she will be more than willing to jump ship to another option to gain a sense of personalized connection. Therefore, the importance of building relationships in growing a successful business cannot be overlooked. No matter how obvious this seems, we need to stay focused on what it really means day in and day out. Some ways are easy and some not so much, but in any case, they are all worth considering when it comes to finding new customers.

1. Don’t blow off your current customers in search of new customers.

You always want to stay true to the people who have helped you get to where you are. And, those people can help you get even further. Your current customers have a lot of clout. Their engagement and loyalty can make or break your ability to attract prospective customers.

2. Build a solid foundation with your current customers to get free publicity.

That’s right, reviews and referrals will flow freely if you treat your customers well. Positive reviews can attract new customers to your business. One survey found that 92% of consumers read reviews. That means that the majority of prospects are judging your business based on your current customers’ opinions. If your current customers have good things to say about your business, they can bring in a number of referrals.

3. To add to your customer base, work on your first impressions.

If a potential customer contacts you with questions, make a good impression. Otherwise, you might be sending him or her in the opposite direction. Provide value and establish yourself as having an in-depth understanding of the problems they are looking to solve.

4. Build partnerships that have value to current and new customers.

Teaming up with businesses that offer complementary services offers you the opportunity to take advantage of synergy, which can be very effective in building a business. For instance, if you have a company that specializes in search engine optimization, consider teaming up with a business that builds websites.

When all is said and done, nurturing relationships, either with other business owners or customers, helps you expand your customer base. Focus on building human relationships. The stronger your relationships are, the more likely your customers will be to tell their friends about you. And, the more likely they’ll be to become repeat customers.