Now let’s take the word and apply it to business. I often hear this word used by Dealers after they have made a presentation or a sales call. They anticipate the prospect registering as an account or a customer placing an order. In both of these scenarios anticipate simply means that there is an expectation or hope, but there is no guarantee of the outcome. But that is business, there are no guarantees. The Dealer will then react to the customer’s decision resulting in the final outcome, whatever it is.
Going forward I want you to think about this word in a proactive sense and apply it to your business. Anticipate your customer needs and preferences. This can be especially effective for Commercial and Retail accounts. Don’t wait for them to contact you; you should initiate the contact.
Retail accounts often will buy products following a pattern or schedule. The Retail Account may prefer to purchase on a monthly or quarterly patter that they follow, or it may be a seasonal pattern. There are two ways you can identify patterns, review past sales history or simply ask the account if they do follow a set schedule. It is recommended that keep an open line of communication and simply ask them how they prefer to operate. Once this pattern or preference is identified, you can make the call or drop an email when the time comes.
Commercial accounts will also buy product according to a schedule or pattern, but the schedule or pattern will be dependent on their product usage. The same two practices for identifying the patterns can be utilized, but communication should be the primary tactic. Asking the account about their equipment, lubrication needs and maintenance schedules will help you be proactive to anticipate their future needs.
When you anticipate the customer needs and preferences you provide an aspect of good, solid customer service. Providing good customer service will keep your customers happy, solidify your relationship, and build customer loyalty. The end result is that when you keep them happy, you keep them as a customer.