What are your customers looking for?
Good service, great prices, reliable delivery, these are all factors that customers value and expect.
Failure to provide any of these may well cost you their future business.
I would argue that what they want, really, really, want, is a solution that solves an issue or a problem for them, or importantly for their customer. Never forget that your customer is in turn providing goods and services to their own customer base.
Understanding why your customer is giving you their business is so important, so ask them why and listen carefully to what they tell you.
You’ll be appreciated if you show interest, but much more importantly that added understanding will put you in a stronger position to gain repeat business and expand the opportunity with that customer.
It’s also a great way to build that relationship, after all, we all usually like it when others take an interest in what we are doing.
Your customer’s customer is often overlooked as a potential business development opportunity and understanding their needs is the basic starting point. It won’t always be the case, but business development is all about building relationships and understanding the direct and associated markets your customers, and potential customers are working in.
Business development activity needs to do more than promote what you can offer directly to your customer.
You have to continually educate your markets.
By “messaging” the solutions and benefits you’re offering to your customer’s customer via Linkedin etc, they will become an effective unpaid selling aid on your behalf. If persuaded they will ask about using your equipment and services as part of the overall solution they buy from your customer, their supplier.
In the same vein a similar “messaging” exercise can be targeted towards trade associations, industry membership groups, regulators, etc and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at eventual results.