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Ramblings – Episode 3

17th October 2016

Ramblings – Episode 3

Customers…

There are a number of rules that apply to the running of all businesses but none more important than your approach to customers.

When starting your business and developing customers in the first few years there are a number of key elements which must be adhered to. The three key points are as follows…

1. Don’t believe all you are told.

Your potential customer will ask for the best and expect to pay the least regardless of whether you are dealing with a friend or a new contact and you must treat them the same. It’s very easy to do a favour but be aware that favours cost you money and will continue to on every future order the customer places.

At some point you will have to stop favours and from there on you will have an unhappy customer. Make sure from the very first meeting that you give a professional approach with a clear message, outlining your interpretation of your customer’s needs and ask if they have a budget in mind. The budget will help you tremendously when detailing your quote.

2. Don’t be afraid to talk money.

Everybody goes to work for money. When your customer confirms the quote you have given them, this is the best time to agree payment and it doesn’t matter if they pay on completion, pay a deposit or staged payment just agree it.

I personally prefer a 50% deposit with the balance due upon completion. That way, in the event that the customer changes their mind, at least you should have covered your material costs should a problem arise.

3. Prevent mixed communications.

Ensure that you have good lines of communication with the customer and your staff on site when fitting a job. Do not let any member of your fitting team or production staff talk to your customer. It’s not a matter of trust; your staff have no idea what you have discussed and agreed with your customer. A simple comment from them can erupt into a huge issue with your customer and you will have will have to resolve any misunderstanding, which invariably will cost you money.

Next time on Ramblings…

Business consolidation and the pitfall and rewards of multi-site jobs