My uncle Sam always seemed to be a genius when it came to business, and more specifically any part of business that had to do with sales. He decided that there was not a decent place in the town he was living in to buy a good bed and mattress at a fair price. He identified a gap in the market and decided to fill it by starting his own bedroom store.
Uncle Sam was old school, though. He always believed the customer was the most powerful tool in sales and business. If a competitor tried to undercut him, he
would rather give something away for free than lose the customer. His goal was to beat the competition, no matter the cost to him. And it worked.
After his first store was successful, due mostly to repeat business and referrals, he decided to sell it and open a larger chain. With the larger chain, it became more difficult to keep his standards in place. Having several store managers and many employees meant that it would be difficult to maintain his consistent approach to customer retention. However, with the right people in place, it happened. The chain kept “the customer is always right” in place, and still kept the competition at bay.
The store’s success was not all about customer service though, it was also about great products. People want value for their dollar, that is a given. So, my uncle carri
ed a wide variety of products in his stores and priced them as low as he could to still keep a decent profit. He didn’t overcharge for things the way most places do just to make a quick buck. He knew that people would return to him if they saw a value in what he sold.
Overall, my uncle had great success because of repeat and referral business. This is the most important kind of customer. Retaining a customer is so important in any industry, but referrals can be hard to get. However, if you do business the right way, treat the customer right, and make sure what you sell has value, you can be successful.
The real lesson I learned from my uncle Sam is that business, any business at all, is about the relationship with the customer. In the marketing business, our customers are called clients. Customers are transactional, with clients we build something great together. That’s why we here at Ilfusion strive to do great work that has value by really making a difference for our clients, because their success is our greatest reward.