A question for you on how you treat customers

There’s a guy I’m connected with on twitter.

I follow him because he knows more about sales than I do and he asks great questions that get me thinking.

I’m not sure why he follows me!

Anyway, recently he posed this question:

Is it necessary for you to respond to your clients after hours or is it reasonable to reply first thing in the morning.

What do you think?

Is it “Absolutely it is necessary“?

Or perhaps “it depends on what they need“?

Or “it depends on what I’m doing“?

There’s no law on this.

The situations clients are dealing with differ. You might be a plumber and your client might have a flood.

Your own circumstances can differ. You might be in the A&E with a child or you might be sitting in your home office with high energy, with your family away, and with nothing enticing on your social agenda.

But there’s another criterion that you’d do well to factor into your decision-making.

Imagine you sell a chip. Not the edible variety but the “integrated” variety that goes into electronic circuits.

And you’ve two clients.

And it’s early September.

One of the clients is a college student who used one of your chips in a college project the previous year. And he’s now doing some exploratory research for project work he’ll be recommencing once college starts back later in September.

The other client is Cisco who used 1 million of your chips in their network routing equipment and are now urgently looking to kick-start another large production run.

Two very different clients.

All clients are not equal.

The 80:20 principle tells us that we get a majority of our profits from a minority of our clients. A majority of our grief from a minority of our clients.

You have limited resources.

Take those two realities – the clients not being equal and you having limited resources. And the implication is compelling. Your answer to the question on when to call back your clients has to factor in the importance of the client that has contacted you out of hours.

I’ve a spreadsheet I use once a month to rank my clients – or customers as I more commonly refer to them. It’s a numerical ranking based on a number of factors that I measure.

Try it. Even with the simplest measure – revenue. By that measure my most important customer is 296 times as important as the least important.

Yep – 296 times as important.

There’s an incredible lever available to you there. Just waiting. Hidden in your business. Ready to be uncovered.

I’m not for an instant saying that how I rank my customers would be the right system for you. But I am suggesting that you rank your customers using some system.

So – what are you doing? And what’s your next step?

If you sense you’ve work to do in that area, then click here to schedule a time for us to talk.

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And the guy on twitter? He’s Paul Castain.

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