When and Why to Turn Customers Away

That’s bonkers, right?

Well, generally, yes.  But there are exceptions.  Especially when you’re a startup business.

When you’ve just embarked on your start-up journey, you’re raring to go, full of enthusiasm and every sale validates your decision to take the plunge.  And the customer is always right, yes?

Well, that depends on who the customer is…

If you don’t know what your customer looks like (not physically, of course, but a mental picture or avatar can help), then the prospect knocking on your door might not be right for your business or product.

If you’re in the volume business (selling lots of things) then you need lots of customers; stands to reason.  But then you’re probably very competitively priced and your product is a widely available commodity.  So, you need to be a low-cost operator offering value for money.  This said, service and performance are givens, so don’t think that your product needn’t still be fit for purpose.  It needs to do what it says it will and be suitable for the use you claim it is meant for.

However, say you’re a jewellery maker, or high-end producer of fine ceramics; well, you can’t buy that kind of bespoke, hand-made item in a discount retailer, so your pricing will naturally need to be higher.  But then your customer will also be very different to the one looking for the ‘deal’.

This doesn’t mean customers can’t be both types of buyer; we all want a deal, but the price of that deal depends on the criteria being set.

And this largely comes down to the very fundamentals of marketing.  Marketing is a matching process, matching your ability to supply with a customer’s needs & wants.

We like to think of it in one very simple way:

 What do / can you do VS. What does your TARGET customer want / need?

Note the key word; your TARGET customer.  Knowing who (s)he is, is critical.

If, in line with your brand and product positioning, the person enquiring doesn’t match your capability or goals, it’s ok to say ‘no’.

Remember, not all customers are good customers.  Those you want are those who value what you do and how you do it.  Don’t sell yourself short.  Keep the faith but DO YOUR PLANNING! And most importantly, know what you WANT.

We can signpost you to www.gov.uk so you can search on their info and find the answers you need.  You can also contact your local growth hub (in this case, Stoke & Staffs Growth Hub or Greater Birmingham & Solihull Growth Hub or even your local council.  All readily available through Google.

You can also find great help on Twitter from @businessgov and @Hows_business – a whole pile of resources that can help you decipher and decide what you want to achieve.  Our own advisers will give you face-to-face advice (and it’s FREE – if you qualify); what’s more, they’ve all run their own businesses and know how it feels to be in the same position.  So, be brave, be bold and move forward; we’ll hold your hand throughout the process.

For more help with your startup, call us on 0121 516 0330 or book on to one of our FREE 2-day workshops in Staffordshire, Worcestershire or Solihull.

Go to https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/d/united-kingdom/enterprise-for-success/?mode=search for events in 2017.

Go on, Enterprise Yourself!

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