The “sancta sanctorum” of any business.

     It would be better to tell you what you should try, rather than telling you what you should do.

     A common mistake made by entrepreneur is to believe in the three kings. I am pointing this out because it is really common to listen to young entrepreneurs who innocently believe that they will get as a client a multinational corporation, or some big time company or client, because a friend or family member works for that company and is going to get you to sign a big contract.

     It is enormous the amount of effort, time, money and materials usually lost in order to get this big clients.
It is true that when you start your business your dream is to get a big client one day. However, as times goes by and you get experience, you realize how hard that is. Things are not as simple as they seem.

     I am going to use an example:
     Imagine a shirt´s factory located in a little town.

     The business owner is doing his job in his own factory, has a good number of employees, with good machinery to sew, trustful clients that always pay without any delays. The product produced is good. The shirts sell well and have a pretty good quality.

     So far, everything is working out just fine. He started a business in the textile sector, the business has increased and it works perfectly.

     However, one day the owner thinks about the possibility of introducing the product in a bigger market for a big client. Since the product is good, and the price is competitive, the big client made an important order that can pay without any trouble.

     How awesome! Great! The owner introduced his products to a big client, which meant a huge potential amount of sales.

     The next order was even bigger, but at a lower price. It did not matter, it was a great deal anyways, but the amount of products required by the client was almost above the factory´s production capacity. Working extra hours he managed to get the order ready, but he started to dedicate less time to his other clients.

     The demand for the product increased, which made him move to a bigger factory, get more and better machinery and hire more employees. It was hard to satisfy the wants of the big client, and he was not taking care of his other clients. He was not delivering in time to them, or was not giving them the right product which caused the loss of a lot of clients.

     It does not matter-he thought- with a single order of the big client he could make more profits than with all the other clients combined.

     The big client was wanted more product, but each time he wanted at a lower price.

     Revenues were decreasing as the price of the products were lower to the point where selling to the big client was no profitable anymore, and the owner started to lose money.

     After four years of making orders for the big client the balance was: a huge factory, and more machinery, that needed to be paid off. Enormous costs in taxes and wages for employees made the company accumulate large amounts of loses every month.

     There was no way to come back to a normal situation. He had lost all his older clients due to a bad service towards them.

     Just to not bother you too much I will briefly summarize the end of the story: the company had shut to down.
What can we learn with this example? Really simple. That the growing of your business needs to be diversify with several clients, and to follow a business activity that matches your real possibilities of progress.


     -Big time clients are not usually that positive for your business.

     We are all fishes swimming on a business ocean. If you are a hake you can swallow what a hake can, but do not try to swallow what I sharks does. More than likely you will choke.

     Even though you might do not see it at the beginning, you have a powerful tool, an advantage over the big corporations: you could provide a better service. Big companies usually get lost or really confuse when a client asks for something that is out of the catalog. That is when a little company can make the difference because you can make decision faster. You just have to analyze the order and consider if it will be profitable for the company. This is really important for clients.

     Your sales philosophy should be: you are not going to sale something, you are going to attend the necessities that a client has.

     If you are able to make clients notice this difference, that your goal is not just to sell but to provide them with a product that satisfy what they need, at a reasonable price, and with a good delivery time, you will gain a lot of clients. You are not a salesman. You are a professional who gives, serves and attends the needs and wants of your client.

     This strategy will make the difference between you and other suppliers since you can respond faster and give the client whatever he demands. You will have a closer relationship with your clients.

     I am going to use a pretty easy way. Treat your clients as you wish your suppliers will treat you.

     Selling to the public

     In order to do this activity it is important to have a good psychology, know how to interpret things and how to analyze what you hear and see.

     When a client walks into your store let them look around and see if they find what they need by themselves. Give them time, and be somewhere close where they can see you making sure that you are close enough to attend them if they need your help. Whenever you are required listen with attention and tell them nicely if you can offer them what they are looking for. If you do have it, show it to them, but just what they are asking for, not other models, colors, etc. only what they ask for. If they ask for a more specific product show them other products and put away those which the client discarded so he won´t get confuse and distracted from the main product that he wants. Only put in front of him what he wants so the final decision will be easier to make for the client.

     If you do not have what he needs, do not try to sell something different, just be honest and tell them that you do not have what they are looking for. Tell them where they can find it, even if it is your competence, this is well appreciated by clients, since they will always have a good impression about you and your store.

     About technical characteristics, applications or quality, the one who knows the most is the client. Avoid giving lessons to the clients about superior products with better technology, quality, applications, etc. if you tell the client all those things he will feel overwhelm with information, really disoriented, and he will leave the store with buying anything.

     If the client has doubts, he does know what he wants, or does not know about the different products out there in the market that will satisfy his need, listen to what he wants and give him advice about the product that will better match his needs. Do not advise him the most expensive one, or the one that you will like to sell.
We usually make our shopping in those stores that we can trust on. If you can show credibility to your clients, the success of your business is guaranteed.