Thursday, February 14, 2013

Do you know your customers? Part 2

Configured Customer

A classic case of eating the fruits of a good name.

A happy customer is the best advertising you can ever do in real estate. Such a customer will definitely refer another one to you. They will do all the dirty work for you. In fact, by the time the customer comes looking for the seller, in their subconscious the deal is done. This is the type of customer that makes me stop doing anything I could be doing to attend to them. They rarely disappoint. Remember the guy who was referred to me by his pastor. Obviously mine was just to show up with the proper paperwork and collect money.

Think of customer references along this line…
The ethos behind peer influence never really changes. People have always sought the advice of their peers, and their peers have always been ready and willing to give their opinions. Whether you are buying a car or a plot, majority seek the opinion of somebody else. In fact, whenever a prospective customer calls and confirms they will get time to view plots, they rarely show up on their own. What better opinion would you get than from somebody who already has travelled your path? In most cases reference customers never travel through the long corridor of indecision…they are really ready made.

Strategic Customer

This type of customer is quite important. If I am targeting a particular organization or grouping to makes sales there and a client representative of the group shows up, then I really must nail such a client. Sometimes it involves giving big concessions just to accommodate him / her. Once such a sale is done, I will then use that customer to get inroads to the group / organization. Sometimes I will make such a client a selling agent after satisfying him / her. It works wonders especially when the element of incentives is introduced. The Kikuyu elders would say that “shilingi humulikwa na ingine” In other words, you must spend money (utilize) to chase bigger monies.

To borrow somebody else’s definition; a strategic customer is one who possesses two characteristics. For one thing, the strategic customer should represent the target audience for the product development. Besides this, the strategic customer should possess an outstanding reputation in its field, whatever field that is, such that both the partnering business and the resulting product will benefit from the association in a win-win situation. The strategic customer’s reputation will help enhance the business’s credibility as well as help sell the product of the collaboration to others.

The other day, I was perusing the customers’ database that I have been keeping and I noted an interesting statistic. For all the plots I have ever sold, 60% have been bought by ladies….this obviously points to something. We shall take a break here and when we resume, I shall tell you more about the ‘Lady’s touch’. Whenever a male customer views a property and promises to bring their wife to view and affirm if it is nice, experience has shown me that there will be a 90% chance of a particular outcome. And I normally tell the architect that whenever he is designing houses for sale for me, he must consider the lady’s’ touch….He will laugh sheepishly most of the time and give a remark that based on that line of reasoning I have become true businessman. Why? If you have a way of getting ladies into your pocket, then certainly men will follow them ladies inside your pocket. And certainly your pocket will be one hell or is it heaven of a pocket and you may end up singing that song ‘Sign of a victory’.

In our upcoming posts, we shall serialise a book called The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace Wattles. It was first published in 1910 by Elizabeth Towne in New York. This book has changed the lives of many who have read it repeatedly and done what it says. It will change yours too. Find out for yourself in the next post.

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