Are You Easy to Do Business With?
Studies have shown that one of the most important factors in obtaining and retaining customers is how easy you are to do business with. That’s especially true in a trading community like Exmerce.
An example of the importance of this is what happened to the British automotive industry in Canada in the 1970s. For years, British Leyland Corporation competed with the American big three automakers for the Canadian market. Brands like Vauxhall, Humber, Sunbeam, and Anglia were commonly seen on the streets. They were cheap, economical, and easy to fix.
But it was hard to find parts for them. The dealers sold cars, not parts. Eventually, that cost British Leyland their place in the market.
If you want to survive and grow, make it easy for your customers to do business with you. It’s not complicated. All you have to do is the following:
- Be accessible – nobody likes to have to hunt for a supplier. If your hours of operation are from 8:00 to 5:00, make sure somebody is always there to serve your customers. If you do your work by phone, forward your number to your cell phone and get back to your caller within an hour.
- Be flexible – in today’s world, there is always more than one way to skin a cat. Make sure your flexible enough to skin it in the way that satisfies your customer.
- Listen – sometimes, customers will only have a general idea of what they want. It’s your job to listen to them, ask questions, and interpret what they are saying so that you can provide the product or service that they need. If you take nothing else away from this article, remember this – listening is good business.
The ability to get along with others has become essential in our lifetime; however, the process of learning how to do that is sometimes slow and painful. Those who succeed are wise enough to know that they don’t always have the answer.
Finally, if you want to be easy to do business with, you must always be wary of logic. That’s where British Leyland made its mistake. They expected their customers to be logical and follow procedures.
But there’s an axiom in business: when you deal with machines, two plus two always equals four, but when you deal with people, sentiment and emotion can make two plus two equal five, 10 million, or zero.
The secret to being easy to do business with – in the Exmerce community or the world in general – is never to forget that.