What does it mean to be relevant to your customers?
Being relevant means having the ability to connect with customers in a meaningful way and offer solutions that meet their needs and solve their problems.
Many companies rely on purchase-based loyalty programs to maintain a connection with their customers. While these aren’t bad tactics, they are only a piece of the full picture when it comes to truly connecting with customers. Customers typically make purchases depending on their needs at the time of purchase. Therefore, tuning in to their needs will enable your company to provide offerings based on what the customers want. Learning the needs and wants of customers is important, and knowing the difference between the two can actually position you as a trusted resource.
Human connection is essential. Explore the challenges that each customer is facing and find ways to help. You can show how existing products will help or use the feedback to modify your current suite of products and services. This could involve regularly checking in with your customers, offering valuable insights and advice, and providing useful content that might be of interest to them specifically. Contacting them regularly and being responsive to their needs can also create an important bond rather than contacting them only when you have something to sell to them. These are ways the best animal health representatives become relevant with their customers.
Learning and improving
The best animal health representatives stay relevant by continually learning and improving their skills. This can involve taking online courses, attending industry events, or staying up to date with changes in the industry through reading and research. When you can provide meaningful information on the latest changes, advancements, or challenges in the veterinary market, you become more than a transaction-based acquaintance.
It is important to determine what pieces of new information can be of value to the customers you serve. Providing information and advice based on your understanding of the customer you are interacting with is an intangible value-add and shows your customers they are your primary focus. Emphasizing their needs rather than focusing on what you want to accomplish will almost always give you more of their time and more of their attention. This is a great tactic to employ as you try to remain relevant with your customers.
Another way to stay relevant is by offering value and solutions that meet the customer’s needs. This means staying up to date with new product updates or features launched that may be of interest to your customers, or offering custom solutions that are tailored to their specific needs. Analyzing purchase history data and comparing it to the value-based offerings that you have at the time is important. It is not effective to engage with a customer and recite everything that you may have on special. However, providing accurately curated offers based on their needs is an excellent way to remain relevant when delivering new promotional information.
Employ unique selling propositions and positions to stay relevant. In a tight economy, it is easy to shy away from or ignore basic marketing activities. Knowing what your customers need and why they need it is important, but making them aware of your understanding of their needs as you introduce new products or services is imperative. Focus on improving the product’s core value by digging deeper into customer sentiment. Connect with the customer on a level that is more intuitive. This connection will allow you to be certain that you are focusing on the right areas.
Remaining relevant starts by talking to your current clients. It is one thing to have conversations about products and promotions. It is another thing altogether to position yourself as a knowledgeable industry resource. Do not be afraid to turn the conversation in a direction that allows you to better understand their motivations. Ask them why they do business with you, what they value most about your products or services, and how you help them solve their business issues. Ask them what other challenges you might be able to assist them with. If they are doing business with you, it means they like you and would probably be more than happy to assist you in growing your business. There’s no better marketing than a recommendation from someone we trust. By being relevant, sales reps can build trust and credibility with customers and drive better results for their organization. By following these strategies, sales reps can become more relevant to their customers and increase their chances of success.
As reported by Forbes in an April 2019 article, an Accenture report referenced data from its 2018 survey of more than 24,000 global consumers and found that 68% of consumers who perceive a company as relevant are more likely to recommend that company to friends and family. It was also found that 61% of customers switch brands based on relevance, and 29% of customers said they would stop doing business with companies they don’t perceive as relevant, Forbes reported.
This goes to show how important it is to remain relevant with your customers when they are making buying decisions. Being relevant is very important for every salesperson that interacts directly with customers. Staying relevant is another challenge. Once you have established yourself as their relevant resource for your customer, you must apply the tenacity and discipline that it takes to remain relevant as market conditions, your company’s offerings, and most importantly, the change in your customer’s needs evolve.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Todd Brodersen, President of Same Page Consulting Inc.
Image credit: istockphoto.com/marchmeena29