Recently I had the pleasure of speaking for a business group.was a great evening and I enjoyed sharing thoughts on why values are at the heart of family businesses.
What was of particular interest to me was the very different challenges these businesses are facing and how they were looking at their differing situations, particularly in relation to finding more business.
The following day I received an email from another one of our practice members with a request to fill out a short questionnaire to help them understand what their prospects and clients felt about the services they offered.
Over the next few days, I received several unsolicited emails from various organisations, mobile phone companies, energy suppliers and local businesses all asking for feedback.
Life has a habit of showing you the way, doesn’t it?
It’s great that all these organisations are posing questions about what they offer and importantly are going to their clients and prospects to ask what they think. Moreover, if the recipients respond and give true feedback it can be a lifeline or even a goldmine for the business. However, I hope they remember, to take feedback with a pinch of salt as we are British after all and don’t like to offend!
I have worked with literally hundreds of family businesses and one of the early questions I ask is “Do you know what your clients really want?”
My experience is most don’t.
In the early part of my corporate career in the eighties, I was a salesperson and I quickly realised that most marketing campaigns were at that time just that, a campaign and rarely did they have the necessary market intelligence to show them the way, so they were literally a stab in the dark.
However, the best marketing campaign I was ever involved in was a very desirable black Porsche 911 money box made of porcelain and this was sent in the post to a very select group of prospects. The snag for the recipient was the money box, which rattled as it had coins in it, didn’t have a key…
Cue a call from Peter Roper the salesperson saying, “I have the key can we have a chat?” It worked like a dream and helped me to have a very successful year.
However tacky you might think this approach was, for me and the business it was brilliant! We had several other campaigns all attacking different areas of perceived need and they simply flopped.
The truth was the recipient simply wanted a Porsche money box and was prepared to chat because of it and it was nothing to do with their challenges or problems!
What’s the point, Peter?
We can spend a great deal of time researching the potential challenges of our prospects and clients, and in fairness, we now have many more strings to our bow than we did back in the eighties when the moneybox worked so well.
However, sometimes finding a way to just talk with our clients can be all we need…
… and then we can find out what they really want…
The Family Business Practice is very good at helping people create quality relationships and we have over one hundred events a year both online and offline to help.
If you haven’t been before or been away for a while, we would love to see you!
Click here for our latest event programme
Go on you know you want to!
Until the next time…
Peter Roper The Family Business Man