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