I know it is very tempting to close early this coming Friday, but I encourage you to resist. It can be the perfect day to steal customers from your competitors — ethically, of course!

This Friday is what I refer to as a “customer service, help me out” day.   Many companies and, in particular, salespeople are going to be knocking off early this week and working anything but full-time next week.

If you’re in an industry where there are numerous suppliers with similar offerings, then this is your time to grab customers from your competitors.

Staying open as usual this Friday and being open regular hours all next week is a great way to snag customers from your competition.  It happens every year — a customer is suddenly in dire need of something they normally buy from a specific supplier and when they contact the supplier, they get no response.

You want to be the supplier they turn to.

Nothing could be better than having a company that normally does not buy from you suddenly reaching out asking for your help.

By providing these emergency customers with amazing customer service, you will do more than you could ever imagine in landing a new long-term customer.

One piece of caution! It might be tempting to give this new “emergency” customer a nice break on pricing, but don’t do it!  Here’s why — the customer at this point is not looking for price, what they’re looking for is immediate help.  Price is not even in the equation at this point with the customer.  If you offer them a discount at this point, you are going to alert the customer’s price/value relationship of you and your company.

The last thing you want to do is to start a relationship with a new customer with them thinking you’re a supplier that will discount everything.

If you jump quick with a discount on the first order, the customer will expect a discount each time they place an order with you.  Your better approach is to dazzle them with your customer service.

Let me give you one more way to steal customers from your competitor.  First thing Friday morning start doing a telephone and email blitz with every prospect you can imagine.

Your objective is to let them know you’re open regular hours and ready to serve.  You’ll be amazed at the positive goodwill this will create with both your current customers and prospects.

The reason I like doing this Friday morning is it’s a way to ambush your competition.  By Friday morning, they have already determined they’re going to close early, so there is little way they will be able to launch a counter-attack to you your calls and emails.

If you wonder if this approach works, trust me — it does.

I’ve used this approach with a number of different B2B companies that operate in very price competitive industries and each time it’s been met with success.

All the best to you and your customers, and may your success this week lead to even greater success in 2012.

Copyright 2011, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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