It’s Easy to Be Better Than Your Competition

It’s Easy to Be Better Than Your Competition
I once had a boss who told us to never return phone calls right away. He said if you return a call too quickly, the other person might think you’re not very busy. This same boss also liked to say “always make it hard for the other person to schedule an appointment with you”.

His logic, in both cases was that if you appeared super busy then the other person (a prospect) would want to do business with you because you’re a winner. And (he reasoned), it gave you the upper hand in any negotiations. Your apparent success told the prospect you didn’t need their business.

Great advice!

Unless you actually want to grow your business. Then it’s lousy advice. Who wants to do business with someone who purposely delays responding to you and who intentionally is difficult to work with? Not me.

My old boss got it wrong in a big way. He spent too much time thinking about himself and how he appeared to other people. He thought by creating a certain image, he could manipulate people into wanting to do business with him.

But that’s contrary to how good business works. The only sure way to getting and keeping customer for the long term is to focus on them, not on yourself.

Note, this does not mean you completely disregard what you want and need for a business relationship. Not at all! You’re in business to help your customers and you can’t do that if you run yourself out of business.

When you focus on your customers, you honestly try to see things from their perspective. Your purpose is to help them get what they want. You try to deliver them the best experience you can in the context of what they want and what you’re able to do for them.

The deal is by helping them get what they want, you automatically get what you want (the price or fee they pay you, for example).

People and companies who do this continue to attract customers and keep them coming back. They offer service that Seth Godin calls “remarkable.” “Remarkable Service” is service that is so good, your customers tell others about it.

It’s not hard to be remarkable, especially in how we communicate with people. These days most people do a lousy job returning calls and emails. Several weeks ago, I called a local company to sign up for their service. I waited 24 hours and called again because no one had bothered to call back.

Then, after I gave them my credit card information, I never heard from them again, until I contacted them. They did nothing to reach out to me before or after I placed my order.

What’s sad is their responsiveness is not surprising. It’s closer to the norm than I like. So, if you want to be remarkable in the eyes of your customers, do these things and you’ll knock their socks off:

1. Return their calls and emails right away.

2. Be easy to work with. Be flexible and accommodate their situation.

3. Focus on how you can help them get what they want.

4. Ask them how you can best serve them and listen to what they tell you.

Sergio from Your House Clinic says ” I analyze my competitors on a day by day basis to see what they’re doing (marketing) and seeing how they are treating their customer (customer service). He noted that service was good at the beginning of the relationship, but it dies at the end. Amazing service should always be performed from the start to the finish. Sergio runs a group of kinesiologist in downtown Toronto.

Build your business around these actions and you’ll build relationships with customers that will survive just about anything.

The article was written by Kevin Stirtz