Coach's CornerTips & Tricks

Building Trust with Clients on a Budget

4 Mins read

As we are all aware grocery costs are at an all time high. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has noted an 11.9% inflation rate just over the last year, which is the largest increase recorded in several decades. Understandably this means many grocery customers are nervous about purchase costs or having to make changes to their shopping habits. Often people associate grocery delivery with hidden fees or unpredictable increases. Sometimes they have had a poor experience with this when utilizing another grocery delivery option, or other times it is their understanding based on the experience of others and the media. While this can be challenging to overcome as a small delivery business you are in a unique position to be the solution to their problem. Be confident that your business has the ability to showcase price transparency as well as the opportunity to provide a great value for a reasonable price point.

Here are some ways to highlight how your business is different and build financial trust with clients

You should strive to create real and genuine relationships with your clients over time. Developing a trusting relationship with your clients is the key to helping them feel more confident in using your services and should be a top priority within growing your business. Setting the tone for open communication will make clients feel like they can come to you if their needs or hardships change in the future, and will even make them feel comfortable recommending you to their friends who share their worries. Here are some ways to do this: 

1. Always strive to be authentic!

Make sure you don’t sound overly salesy or robotic when communicating with your clients. Talk to them like you would talk to a friend with openness, honesty, empathy, and respect! 

2. Invite clients to discuss their grocery budget

As you become comfortable with clients, invite them to discuss their order budgets for future orders. Setting the tone by giving permission for the conversation can help to ease any awkward feelings or the perception of judgment. Remember – People are often put at ease by knowing that you will go above and beyond to stay within their budget if needed and they may be nervous to bring this up to you! 

3. Proactively engage clients to promote an open feedback loop

You should proactively engage with clients instead of waiting for them to bring concerns to you. As you continue to serve clients, ask for their feedback or concerns and listen to their responses. When a client is sharing a problem or concern it is important to show them how well you understand what they see as their core issue and try to offer a solution to their problem. If the issue was caused by a mistake you made, take the time to apologize and offer a solution to avoid the same issues in the future. 

4. Highlight how your business is different from other delivery options

Showcase the value that clients get with paying for your service such as having the same shopper every time, no membership fees, in store pricing, avoiding impulse purchases or being able to order from multiple stores. If you have any prior experience or skills related to your business be sure to share those in your profile, as well as showcasing positive reviews your business has received. 

5. Be flexible and offer cost saving solutions without discounting your rates

Additionally you are able to provide flexibility and care to clients, which is not a consideration they will get with other delivery options or even many of the other businesses they come in contact with regularly. You can offer and advertise cost saving solutions that do not involve discounting your own rates. This could be offering to shop at a cheaper store, using store rewards, and even swapping items for generic brands or sale items. Regularly posting store sales where you advertise your business is a great way to continue to build on this conversation. 

Pro tip: There are apps available to help you determine local sales ahead of your trip to the store (several of our business owners swear by Flipp). 

You can even remind clients that they are able to shop bulk warehouse stores without purchasing a membership by using your service (since you use your own membership to fulfill those orders), as many experts recommend bulk buying as a solution to the current situation. 

6. Offer discounts that support your business goals

You can also train clients to alter their ordering habits in ways that benefit your business to allow you to give them a discount on their order such as, ordering on a certain day that you’ll be in the area or offering a piggyback promotion if you are on the Pro plan. Smart discounts can help you combine fuel usage or other business expenses while still encouraging customers to place an order. 

The takeaway: Pricing transparency is key

Always make sure both potential and current clients know that your pricing is transparent. Not only will they see what you charge at checkout but they will always pay in store pricing and get the receipt upon delivery. If they have used other delivery options in the past that had hidden fees it can take a few reminders or extra explaining (such as showing a price comparison) to get them to grasp this. Be patient – often they had no idea those hidden fees were even added to their grocery bill!

You are the local expert at what is going on in grocery stores right now (including which stores are better priced)- utilize that knowledge as a benefit of using your business! Credibility goes a long way. When clients believe you have the knowledge, skills and expertise to deliver the service they are more likely to utilize your services. While being open about the issues consumers are facing and meeting clients with empathy are important, remaining confident in your ability to provide solutions can reframe this topic as a positive, which can help clients move past any anxieties they have about ordering with you.

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