Collecting customer information:
Market research is a critical component of any marketing strategy. There are many expensive sources of customer information available today. But, if you don't have a large marketing budget for market research, what can you do? There a four easy and inexpensive ways to gather marketing data by using your existing customer base. You will start with the commitment to collect data constantly. 1. The Constant Thirst for Customer Information
Every customer and every prospect represent an opportunity to discover what your larger market wants and needs. But you have to be on your toes! In addition to selling your product, you need to be focused upon collecting data also. This will only happen if you understand and value what customer data can do for you. Every time a prospect or client talks to you on the telephone or visits your web site, use the opportunity. Prompt customers or visitors to tell you more about their needs. Make certain you have a feedback form that is easy for them to use. It should also have an incentive attached so they will take the time to provide you with valuable information. That incentive might be a discount off a next purchase or an entry into a drawing for one of your products. When you are given the opportunity to be in direct communication with a customer (on the telephone or in your store), you need also to develop the skill of asking open questions. 2. Ask Open Questions of Everyone
Most people who claim to be in sales or marketing don't practice one of the fundamental skills of sales, using open questions. They typically ask questions of prospective customers that can be answered with a "yes", "no" or grunt. Those are called closed questions because they close down your customer's ability to elaborate with useful information. If people aren't talking to you, that's the number one reason! So, learn a new skill if you want to gather customer information and increase sales. Learn to use reflective...
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