Knowing the needs and wants of your customer is critical to making the sale and being successful in business. By Gary Shotton #000395
Knowing Your Customer
By Gary Shotton
Hello my name is Gary Shotton, and I’m here as a part of inspiring better business today we’re going to talk about knowing your customer. And you know, it’s very important to know your customer and if you don’t, you could miss the target. And I’m going to tell about my life as a Moving and Storage owner, I own a company where we have trucks where we move furniture from one house to another. And, you know, at first I thought man I just, whoever calls that’s my customer, but I learned over time that I really needed to identify the person who’s that person that I need to make happy, and the person normally in America anyway, that is somewhat the queen of the home is normally the wife. Normally, the female in the house. Now that doesn’t mean she’s less or more, More important, or less important boredom, but in reality they seem to tend to consider that, what happens inside the house is a little bit more under their control, and they like things this way and that and so early on I determined that I would make sure that that lady of the house was pleased. Now there’s a lot of things that can go wrong. In a move. And there’s a lot of things from the floor can get scratched and the furniture can get scratched and we might drop and break something but at the end of the day, we would determine and normally be clear. The is the customer, the person that’s the lady of the house. So, that was very important to us, and we worked on that and we talked about that, and we would make that decisions we didn’t alter what we did, necessarily, other than really pay attention to what they want it.
Well I currently own a machine shop, it’s a manufacturing company. And once again, as the primary outside salesperson for 98% of all of our sales are in under my control. I go to the large customers, and make sure I know what they want. That’s how we’ve grown, that’s how we’ve gotten bigger. I have a whatever possible and on all of our big customers I’ve been able to develop a relationship so we had a monthly meeting, and we had a month to have a monthly meeting when we weren’t having the COVID and all that, but we had a monthly meeting, and I would go into that meeting, and I would discuss anything and everything that was on their mind. Are we on time delivery? How about the damage and we have our behind the scenes, this is happening all the time that’s going on the systems and processes are taking place, but I wanted to hear the overview, the big picture, and I also got to hear where they’re headed. Are they wanting some new things, provided that we can provide for them? You see, when we started out, all we were was a machine shop. All we did was cut metal, making parts, but in time by listening to my customer, I discovered all they needed somebody that was able to cut gears, well we didn’t cut gears but guess what we learned how to cut gears and the other customer needed someone that would weld, and these are pretty precision weld. And I talked to my, my folks in my company and they said we would ever weld it and I said, guess what we’re going to start welding, because if we don’t learn to weld and provide these parts, we’re going to be diminished in our relationship with this customer. We had a process where we have precision grinding we got grinding, we had a what’s called sandblasting and we got to sandblasting put up and where we could sandblast for them. We do a lot of accessories supplementary things to our machining, we’re still a machine shop, but why because I listen to the customer. I know what the customer wants. I hear and understand what they’re wanting. So this is very important, though in life, you’re going to have to determine in your business, who really is the customer who is making the dishes decisions, and then make sure they’re the happy one.
I had an experience a friendship that’s in another country and this family had moved to their homeland basically had been in a third world country and moved back to a country in Europe and in the process they were not really funded that well and they were looking for options and they kind of through experimenting they looked in and discovered that they bought I think the numbers were they bought a, a bicycle that was broken or needed repair for like $40. I think that was the number. And then, after figuring out how to repair it and do it makes it look nice got all cleaned up and everything they sold it for $260. Whoa, that worked pretty well. And the comment one comment was made we kind of decided we could try to do this. So, one of the things they do is find bicycles that are that are need repair or could be bought wholesale or underpriced and get them ready and have a bicycle sale. Now I don’t know how far they’re going with this but let’s talk about you and a developing nations in a developing nation bicycles are part of know most developing nations and there’s all kinds of bicycles at least four or five that I know of. And if the customer comes to you whether you have a shop or not, or whether you had to that having a shop or whether you almost everybody needs a repair shop so you could surely start there just being able to repair bicycles and buy used, and then step by step, you could become a pretty good bicycle shop, whether you have a business or not whether you have it in your house or a storage space or something you can do. You could, but you still need to know who the customer is, let me tell you some of the customers that could walk in the door. You could, most likely have some customers that use their bicycle as a working object, working tool. I have seen bicycles loaded down I’m sure the wheels are not rated for that I can think they had two or three or 400 pounds on a bicycle that bicycles doing the work. And sometimes the person’s pedaling in this smaller package or something’s on the backside of it, and sometimes they’re just walking, they’re not carrying 300 pounds the bicycle is carrying it, and they’re walking along the side, letting it do the work. Well that’s a type of bicycle, what does that customer want, what do they need when they need something sturdy and strong.
Well, let’s talk about it being kind of a toy. So, sometimes, the more affluent might say hey I want a good Christmas present or a Christmas present for my child. I think a small bicycle that they could ride and learn. That’s a toy. That’s a different customer that customer would want to be able to buy something at economical but good and their child could be learning on. Then there’s the customer that they’re a hiking enthusiast, and these are mountain bikes, they don’t just have the normal things you would have in town. They’re have big knobby wheels and shock absorbers, and that’s a whole sport, there could be somebody and you could head, I’ve got residents hiking in foot. Let’s do some hiking using bicycles I’ll tell you for some foreigners would like that. And then of course there’s others, and so another one would be the idea of all things a racing bike or a racing bike. I was in one town in Mexico was on the Gulf Coast and we went to church, and I actually preached that morning at church and we come out and we look out, and it’s on a main road and here comes about 50 or 6060, speed bikes. These guys are riding fast, and these bikes are really expensive, you know, knowing your customer also tells you what they can afford. You know the person that’s using a work bike they’re probably really, really, really cost conscious, but if you’re buying one of those speed bikes. You know those things can cost like three or $4,000, and they’re people that have money this is surplus cash, and they’re doing it for their pleasure. Oh, I forgot one almost, there’s just a regular old pleasure bike mom and dad, want to just not race, not, not climb the mountains, they just want to go out, instead of walking in the neighborhood, they would like to ride their bicycle just for some exercise, and there’s actually another one. There’s a stationary bike so you can sit in your house and just make exercise and get physical exercise, even when it’s raining outside. So there’s all kinds of bicycle customers, but if you don’t know who the customer is you’re going to flub up and you’re going to have to start out by starting with one kind of customers maybe sticking with that and get really good with them, and then add on another option kind of like I added on in my machine shop, and expand yourself to a new customer, but when the customer walks in the door, you kind of need to know first off what kind of a bike are they looking for and do they have money to pay for it. Forget the idea of credit for everything you’ve got to find cash paying customers. Well, I hope I’m helping know who your customer is it’ll really help you in business. Thanks for being a part of Inspiring Better Business.
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