No clients, no business

Oct 30 2012 14:46
*Jannie Rossouw

WITHOUT clients we will not have businesses. But it so often happens that we spend too much time, effort and resources on the wrong type of clients - clients who drain our resources without adding much to our bottom line.

We can change the cards by applying the following guidelines:

1. Determine the profile of a valuable client by looking at the following attributes:

  • Individual or business
  • If a business, how big?
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Industry
  • Client interests
  • Buying patterns (Which products do they purchase, where do they transact, when do they transact, how do they pay for their purchase?)

2. Know what makes a client valuable:

  • They purchase high margin products/services.
  • They pay the quoted price and do not squabble about the price.
  • They order less frequently, but when they place an order, it is substantial.
  • They keep their commitments – orders are not cancelled or changed.
  • They pay timeously.
  • They do not drain your after sales service capacity.
  • It they are businesses, identify the ones who are expanding and will require more of your products/services.
  • They are well connected and can be a valuable referral resource for your business.

All clients are not equal and do not warrant the same level of engagement. We always have to treat all clients with respect and dignity. It is, however, a productive business principle to differentiate your service offering and level of engagement amongst clients according to their level of value contribution to your bottom line.

*Jannie Rossouw is the head of Sanlam Business Market.

*Share your experience of setting up your own business, or simply ask a question. Our business panel can put you on the right path.

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