CRM for sole traders does not need to be complicated.
CRM is a buzz term, you may have heard Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a process that’s used by a company to monitor and analyse its interactions with its past, current and potential customers. The objective is to maximise customer satisfaction and the firm’s profitability.
A CRM process can be complex or simple depending upon the needs of the organisation. For example, a large insurance firm with many customers will need to use an automated CRM system to handle lots of data. It will automatically issue a reminder for policy renewal.
By contrast, CRM for sole traders can be very simple. As a sole trader you’re likely to know each of your customers personally and have no need to invest in a CRM system.
CRM for sole traders is an activity that will come naturally to most who know their client base well.
However, I suggest that you should review your need for CRM for sole traders by considering: “what is a customer?” Because of the emphasis on potential customers in any CRM process.
A customer is not only a person who has bought and paid for your product/service already. I encourage you to think that every touchpoint that you have should be thought of as the start of a customer relationship. In other words, every conversation or social media post might lead to a sale or collaboration in the future. Your customers are not only those which you have already but also those who have not yet bought.
I chose to illustrate this topic with the great-crested grebe, a bird species which is known for its complex mating ritual which you can see it in a short film HERE.
Six Lessons in customer management inspired by crested- grebe
First, Indicate when you’re ready: make it clear when you’re ready to sell or buy, like the grebe alters its plumage. Think about how London cabs turn on a light to show when they are for hire.
Next, Be very patient: a strong relationship takes time to develop.
Third, Don’t sell, mirror: Spend time to get to know your prospect and build rapport, by finding common ground you can find out about their specific needs.
Fourth, Be generous, be prepared to share free of charge to establish trust, the grebe cements its partnership by offering a fish.
Fifth, Think long term: Consider the long -term potential of each customer relationship, not just an immediate sale. Grebes are monogamous.
Finally, I recommend that you should keep the lifetime value of each customer in mind.