“Most building materials manufacturers are not in charge of their own fate. Instead, they take what the market gives them. In an up market, they prosper. In a down market, they suffer. If they gain or lose a big box, they don’t see it as their fault or merit—the big box makes the decision for them. If they face an aggressive competitor, they frequently see the solution is to make a price cut. It’s all out of their control.” — Mark Mitchell @seethewhizard
The market is up and as a result, you’re prospering, making money hand over fist. More customers, increased sales, word of mouth, and higher profit margins. Precursors to wise investing, early retirement, endless golf and sailing around the world. Fate for a king. CHECK!
Who is actually in control of your destiny—you or the market?
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Below, Discover 7 Ways to Control Your Fate and Prosper
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The “key to the yacht” in this coveted scenario isn’t more, but happy and loyal customers. When the market takes a dip (or, God forbid, a nosedive) without them you’re sunk!
Control your destiny by future-proofing your company to avoid customer’s jumping overboard. You can decide on your own or leave it to chance and let competitors and the market choose for you.
“Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” ― William Jennings Bryan
Focus less on getting more customers and more on creating great customer relationships. And the secret to succeeding at this boils down to one thing — FATE.
Before you call bullsh*t, examine what you believe vs. what’s possible. (According to debate.org only 55% of us believe in fate, so you’re not alone.) Is fate happen-stance (the stuff that happens that’s beyond our control) or a choice (we decide our own fate)?
Consider a third definition that seems like the missing boom to your mainsail. A long-time colleague of mine believes fate is actually FOCUSED ATTENTION TIME and ENERGY. If this is true, our fate, or destiny, is not a matter of chance, it’s a matter of choice. Because if you don’t pay attention, set a course and control the ship, the market will.
Fate of Your Customers
How much time do you spend strategically plotting the course (F.A.T.E.) of your customer relationships? Think way beyond discounts, rebate programs, marketing co-op money and customer service. These have all become a matter of course.
Staying afloat when the seas get rough takes a lot more now than it did when granddad started the company. It takes imagination, courage, and creativity. Are these already built into your marketing and sales strategy and customer journey? Because customers choose to do business with companies that understand them and, as a result, give them solutions, resources, and support they can’t get anywhere else.
Before the tides shift, take a cue from some captains of manufacturing and stay in control of your destiny. Consequently, you’ll prosper for it!
7 Ways to Control Your Fate and Prosper
Customers want to belong to something greater than themselves. They want to be seen and heard. Create a place where they can do that, like Festool.
The FESTOOL OWNERS GROUP (F.O.G.) runs on customer loyalty. Customers connect because of their passion for using Festool products. Due to this enthusiasm and drive, F.O.G. is now a ripe forum for product feedback, project sharing, and wish-lists. It’s also a way for Festool to actively listen to what matters to their customers. This voluntary real-time feedback gives Festool the insight that drives R&D, customer service, and sales.
Happy customers buy from happy companies. What keeps employees at a company for the long haul? HINT: It’s not money. Companies that recognize their role in contributing to an employee’s quality of life know money is not a motivator for long-term success.
Mission’s philosophy is “connected for good.” Whether it’s lean manufacturing, continuous improvement, or driving the industry with innovative new rubber products, their biggest sustainability concern is for employees, customers, and community. Taking advantage of future-proofing your culture from the inside out most certainly increases your happy factor and makes sales easier.
Be the source for useful examples and stories that illustrate how your products solve customer’s problems. Survey your customers about a hot topic and share the results. Produce a video or slideshow demonstrating how to use a new product in a creative way. Name and brand every “kernel”, so that all searches/links/SEO lead prospects and customers back to you.
Another way to design your customer journey is to map relevant content to the buying cycle and provide calls to action. Share bite-sized chunks from your blog through email and social media channels. Ultimately, you’ll have a library of information and resources your customers want and need—one they’ll return to again and again.
National Gypsum took a product that is largely invisible to the end user (drywall) and gave it life by making it visible and accessible.
The Ask For Purple campaign leverages creativity and content at every point in the sales cycle. Consequently, through the website, videos, contests, and resources, they make something familiar feel new (and cool).
Furthermore, they create a fun and memorable experience for salespeople, dealers, and end-users and, ultimately, makes sales easier.
5: Make Sales Easier Online, like New Pig Above all, start with easy! New Pig makes it easy to buy from them with a responsive website that’s easy to find, easy to use and packed with tasty content. Download a handy ebook, live-chat with a “pigger”, order from their catalog, browse customer ratings, get free expert advice, take advantage of speedy online account setup, stay connected through social media or their eNewsletter.
And their PIG Promise No Risk Guarantee makes returns easy. So, customers get all this and a side of bacon. (just kidding) Hog heaven! What could be easier?!
Since the day they invented the modern pipe wrench, they’ve made it their mission to build for the world’s expert tradespeople – those who know the limits of the job and how to exceed them.
Ridge is fulfilling that commitment by leveraging the power of social media (and, yes, including Linkedin
) to help their customers solve their business challenges. And, not only the ones that involve Ridge tools. With over 5,100 followers on Linkedin alone, clearly, it’s working.
7: Elevate the Entire Industry, like Carr Machine & Tool and Zenger’s
Jim Carr and Jason Zenger are both second-generation leaders who know manufacturing is challenging. And they believe whole-heartedly that “if you’re connected to a community of leaders, you can elevate your skills, solve your problems and grow your business.”
That’s why they decided to put their mouth to the mic and create a podcast as another way to help their customers and the industry at large solve problems and lead better. MakingChips is designed to equip and inspire you to succeed in the challenging world of manufacturing. If you’re not already a fan, subscribe here and you will be.
To retire early and set sail on that yacht it’s going to take caring, creativity, and courage. And, leaving your fate to chance is simply not an option.
Take fate (FOCUSED ATTENTION TIME and ENERGY) into your own hands by creating great customer relationships. Don’t wait for competitors to develop the app you’ve only thought about or build that HOW TO video library customers love or deliver that trade show experience no one can forget.
You’re at the helm. Plot your course and take the wheel. As a result, calm seas or rough waters, you and customers will jump overboard to save each other. Ahoy, Mate!
Make sales easier. Schedule a call.