In today’s digital world everyone expects things to be either instantaneous or at least fast. Your clients expect results almost as soon as they express their desires. You in turn need your suppliers to anticipate your needs so you can meet those of your customers. Yet it still takes time to provide services and products. So how do you keep up with the pace?
Often executives tell you to “anticipate the customer’s needs,” and use your sales skills and tell the client what they need based on what you have available. Anticipating your customer’s needs is the goal of every business in the world. The whole idea to starting a business is seeing a need and filling that need. To grow that same business you have to start to anticipate.
So how do you foresee the future? How can you know that your plan is the one that will grow your business and keep you successful in the years to come? By learning your customer’s business.
I have taken the time to learn business and not just in the sense of supplies in and products out. I have spent over 20 years in the corporate and business world before I established my company. I understand the pressures and the needs of my clients. But even that isn’t enough.
My business is a service business that delivers a product which makes it unique in many ways. I need to perform the photography services that I offer in a professional and timely manner. At the same time I have to deliver the end product faster than ever before and with higher quality. With the photography industry changing almost hourly and my clients’ needs changing almost as fast, how can I keep delivering the highest quality of service and the best possible product?
Not only have I learned business, but I spend time keeping up with my clients business. I take the time to learn the struggles they have on a daily basis. I don’t work beside them 8 hours a day because then I couldn’t run my business. I do however ask them about what are their biggest issues. I talk to them about new ideas and new technologies that are available to them and why to, or not to, take advantage of them.
In that sense, you may even think that business is moving back in time. Back to a time when relationships are what mattered. That seems to be the big buzz word in business, social media, marketing and everywhere else now. “Marketing is about relationships.” “Networking is about building relationships not marketing.” “To get the work you have to have a relationship with [insert any name here].”
I am all about relationships and I always have been. Although I use contracts and estimates and all the modern paperwork that we all use today, it’s not about the legalese for me. All that paperwork boils down to my word and a handshake. If I say I am there for you, I am, and I will be there as fast as our modern world allows me to be.