This article first appeared on May 17, 2011
The long lunch with an important customer is one of my favourite business weapons. Not only is it a perfect way to get out of the office for a few hours for a nice meal and some gossip, but it’s also a great way to get some real market intelligence.
You’ll be surprised at what you will pick up. The latest personnel coming and goings in your sector, some views on the broader economy and sectoral conditions and, if you ask the right questions, some very valuable information on your rivals.
Now, we are all realists here. Just as you are out there trying to poach your rivals’ customers, they are out there trying to grab yours.
So chances are that your lunch companion will have had some contact with one of your competitors in the last little while.
Ask them these questions:
- What offers are the competition using?
- What pricing are they offering?
- What’s good about their offer?
- What’s bad about their offer?
- How are they selling (high pressure, low pressure, somewhere in between)?
- Why did your customer choose to stay with you?
Simple questions that will deliver great insights – and all for the cost of a nice lunch.
Get it done – today!