Consumers: Your Bread & Olives

by Rawad J. Bou Malhab

A couple of decades ago, it was very common and expected  in Lebanon to share someone’s bread and olives as a sign of commitment particularly when the times got tough.

This very basic form of human relationship is still very much relevant nowadays and will evolve to be a critical aspect of any business’s success as personal interconnections with clients are as essential as your bread & olives in your daily life.

Personal Experience

When I started with my own business, my main focus was the products and how great they were; indeed they were of a high quality with a story behind each item.

After a while, there wasn’t anymore enough words to describe the greatness of these products and it became less appealing and repetitive. I realised I suffered marketing myopia.

Then I turned my attention to our loyal clients and that was a hit! There was no other way to it and I believe that clients are the clue for a guided success. Shifting the company’s focus from product to client was one of the best decision ever taken.

Some clients become your best friends, your inspiration & mainly your bread & olives.

It is very important to hold your clients captive. But remember those are free captives! The moment you start abusing your relationship with them, they will walk out of captivation, freely.

Never share your clients’ details with a third party. It is a better practice to send your newsletters from your own domain rather through a third party website that will sell your database and bombard your clients’ email addresses with irrelevant emails.  Remember, your clients are free to unsubscribe and studies have shown that they will start thinking less of your products and offers. We personally did it through Constant Contact & I recommend it.

Certain clients love personal attention, the others dont! You need to get  to know who you are dealing with, first. Their needs, wants and demands. Not through never ending questionnaires & forms but through genuine conversations that lead to profitable relationships for both. These genuine conversations have to be consistent with ever changing factors such as season, religion, psychological, political, etc.

Never miss an opportunity to engage your clients in a two way conversation. Sometimes, the only thing you have to do is listen effectively.

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