Want More Business? Check Your Shop’s Emotional IQ
Most of us like to think that the buying decisions we make are based strictly on facts and figures. We look at specifications, evaluate the differences between options and make a perfectly logical choice. The truth is, every buying decision is also influenced by our emotions.
Such factors as brand loyalty, aesthetics, the personality of the salesperson or some inexplicable feeling can color our decisions. It’s true when we choose a new car or truck, clothes or the latest digital device. And the same is true for potential customers for your CNC shop.
Obviously someone shopping for a new supplier will consider your equipment, your staff’s capabilities and, of course, price and delivery. They’ll evaluate the facts about you and your competitors to make an informed decision. So how does emotion come into play? It has to do with human nature. When all factual matters are relatively equal, people tend to do business with people and companies they know, like and trust.
This means that even if a supplier meets all of the factual criteria, it can still lose the bid if it falls short on the emotional side. That’s why you should ask yourself the following questions about how well your enterprise registers on the emotional scale.
- Are you well known? We all feel better dealing with a known entity, because there is comfort in working with a brand or company that has a solid reputation. How well known is your shop? Do you have a robust Web site that showcases your abilities, success stories and accomplishments? Are you active in your business associations and community? Do you seek editorial coverage of your activities? Contrary to what you may have been taught growing up, it’s important to blow your own horn and promote your business.
- Are you likable? This goes beyond a salesperson’s smile and handshake. It involves understanding what the customer values and acting accordingly. Are you easy to do business with? Do you readily accommodate change orders? Are you flexible about scheduling deliveries? Do you regularly follow up with customers to determine if they are satisfied with your performance? Are you proactive in offering new services or capabilities that benefit the customer? Do you offer congratulations on customer milestones, both personal and professional? Little things, like the occasional “thank you for your business” mean a great deal.
- Are you trusted? A company’s brand image is so important, many large corporations assign it a dollar value on their balance sheets. How is your shop’s reputation? Do you feature customer testimonials on your Web site? Do you have a list of customers who are happy to talk about their positive experience with your shop? Would your current and former employees speak well of your company when asked?
Facts and figures are certainly important to your potential customers, and you won’t get work if you’re not capable. However, there are a lot of other capable shops out there. Having a strong emotional appeal may just be the reason you get the bid instead of the other guys.