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3×5 Customer Information: Basics April 9, 2007

Posted by David Dirks in Keeping Your Customers, Sales Strategy/Tactics.
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dirksphoto.jpgIf you understand that a 3×5 card of information on your customers buying habits is worth it’s weight in gold, then you’re ready for increasing profitability for your business. Letting any customer walk out of your door without you learning more about them is self-destructive to your long-term business health.

Sure, you can stay in business for a long time and not care much about learning more about your customers. Plenty of small businesses (and many big dogz too) do just that but leave a lot of profitability on the table.

The big dogz clamor and get all excited about the calculations that tell them what the ‘lifetime value’ of their customer is. They can tell you what it costs for them to acquire a new customer and how much it costs to retain a customer.

Here’s a dirty little secret: Few businesses (large or small) are able to execute and really harness what they know about their customers to make it tangible on the sales and profit end of the business. Fewer still even take the time to create ways that allows them to gather valuable customer information.

Basic information you should be collecting about your customers:

1. Name, address, phone number

2. Email address

3. Kinds of products they buy regularly from you

4. How much they spend with you (annually)

5. Which brands do they prefer

6. Which services do they purchase regularly

7. Current product or service needs

8. Future product or service needs

9. Ways they prefer to be sold (website, store, in-home, phone, etc.)

10. Preferred payment methods (invoice, credit, cash, check)

Is that all? No, of course not. There are lots of other pieces of information that would help you do a better job of selling more to your customers. However, let’s keep this basic given that most businesses don’t bother to even ask their customer for their first name.

Ask yourself: What kinds of information about my customers would help me to gain a great ‘share of their wallet’ (the big dogz use the phrase ‘share of wallet)? Or help me to identify and find NEW customers?

More on ‘gathering customer info’ in my next blog (or two).

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