June 3, 2021

Business development - Why perception is important

Ask yourself this…

Why would you buy something from a new supplier you don’t know?

What do you want to know before you do?

If we look at this from your company’s point of view you will probably want to know things such as:

  • Do we know the people that work there?  
  • What are they like?
  • Are they easy to work with?
  • Do they respond quickly?     
  • Do they deliver on time?     
  • Are they reliable ?    
  • Who are their customers?     
  • Can they offer us solutions?     
  • Are they reasonable if we have problems at our end?
  • Do they pay their suppliers on time ?    
  • What reputation do they have according to others?

Many reasonable questions that are usually not answered by looking at that company’s website.

They are hard to answer by viewing a potential suppliers website and that’s where the first perception of your supplier becomes really important. First impressions etc….

But here’s the thing….

You are a supplier to others. Your customers will be asking all these questions about you and your company! 

One of the most important things that business development people can do, and should do, is to research their customers so that they understand what a particular customer values most from a supplier.

It’s really important to ensure that their perception of you and your company answers those listed questions as much as you can.

Your website should not be inward focused, only explaining what you do. It must set out clearly, no waffle, the benefits and solutions you can provide bringing practical assistance and value to those customers.

In the past I’ve created a checklist for clients staff that was intended to make them answer these questions internally. This then highlighted the importance of the daily, sometimes small, things that their customers really needed or valued other than cost and confirmed that staff must share information on customers and work together to create a good external perception.

Of course then comes the harder part - ensuring that you live up to that perception. But knowing your customers that well will almost always mean that you will.