Know Your Customers: Small Businesses

Portrait of store ownerAs a retailer, you have many different kinds of customers that come through your door – or to your website.

 

Here are five things to keep in mind when your customer is a SMALL BUSINESS:

  1. Remember my timelines are short.  I don’t really have a 3 or 5 year plan.  I’m ashamed to say a lot of my decisions are made in the moment.  So when you talk to me about ROI or long-term savings, I am more likely to just want to hear how you can solve the problem I have right now.  Be practical.  Once we establish a rhythm, we can talk about the future.
  2. Help me buy a solution instead of a price.  Sure, I want the lowest price I can get, doesn’t everyone?  But if you can help me understand how you deliver a better value, I will listen and even pay more money if it is the right thing to do.  Talk to me in a language I can understand and please don’t use words like “synergy” or “value proposition.”
  3. Make me look good.  I use your products to help me in my own business.  I can’t afford a failure because my customers see me using cheap knockoffs. Give me a high quality product and help me look better than my competitors.  Give me pointers to be even better.
  4. Reward my loyalty.  Because I am a small business person myself, I like doing business with other companies that value simple, affordable solutions.  Once I make the decision to shop with you, don’t give me a reason to reconsider that choice.  Please don’t treat me differently after I become a customer by throwing me over to a newbie sales person.  When I send a new customer your way, recognize that and reward me in return.
  5. Recognize that I wear many hats.  Being a purchasing agent is only one of dozens of roles I play each day. Make it easy for me to get on to other tasks I have by making shopping and paying for your products simple.  Remember my printer types and supply requirements, my preferred payment type and deliver products to me on an as-need basis.  Streamline my interactions with your shop.  I will be loyal even as I quickly transition away from you each time we meet.

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