Marketing 101: Helping the Customer

Bette Daoust, Ph.D.

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Marketing is not over when the campaign is in full swing. You need to be available to make adjustments and answer questions from your target prospects. Although calendars can fill up, always have multiple spots available to help others, they will create a great business relationship in the long run. Sometimes customers need extra attention to get an unrelated project completed. Even though this may take time out of your day, find out more about what they want and how you can help them accomplish their goals. I am not saying to work for free but I am saying you can give free advice to help them along the way. If you are already doing a great job on a different project for them and you were willing to share your knowledge on something unrelated, you are building further strength into your relationship. It is the relationship that will give you more projects to work on and not your charge out fee. I am always willing to give advice as long as I am not selling myself short. By this I mean that I do not want to show them how to complete the project, just nudge them in the right direction. If they need further advice, suggest they hire you onto the project for completion.

Even though you may have a great deal of work to complete, you should always find time for a friend (a person with whom you have a business relationship). This means that each business relationship you have should be considered a friend. Most friends will not try to take advantage of you and if they do, then they are not the ones where the relationship will last. Give limited advice freely but keep you expertise to yourself until it is time to sell it.

Marketing is the value you offer to the customer. You should always go beyond the contract for supplying goods and services. It should include a helping hand when your advice will help them achieve their goals. Always let your customers know what you are willing to do for them and keep in touch by asking how their projects are moving along. Then ask them if there is any way you can contribute.

Bette Daoust, Ph. D. is a speaker, author (over 170 books, articles, and publications), and consultant. She has provided marketing, sales, business development and training expertise for companies such as Peet's Coffee & Tea, Varian Medical Systems, Accenture, Avaya, Cisco Systems to name a few. Dr. Daoust has also done extensive work with small businesses in developing their marketing, training, and operational plans. You may contact Dr. Daoust at You may also view her latest publications at Dr. Daoust also writes for the National Networker


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