Founder of UGG Boots Shares Old-School Principles of CRM

In 1978, Brian Smith, founder of UGG (as in the boot company) came to the USA to sell six pairs of UGG boots. His journey was not easy, as he shared at the ninth annual Small Business Summit. In fact, he was not even using CRM at that time – just paper, the telephone, a big heart, and a big smile.

However, what Smith did have with him were the principles of success, which today’s CRM systems are based on.

If you think just installing a CRM system is going to increase your sales – it won’t. But implementing a CRM system as part of a successful sales and marketing strategy for your business, will help you succeed.

The key strategies Smith used in the early ’80s, which led to a billion-dollar company, didn’t utilize the Internet, cloud technology, mobile technology, or faster computers. Of course technology helps you move faster and more efficiently, but technology alone won’t help you:

  • Know your target market
  • Focus on your customers
  • Start small and test
  • Do research to know what your customers want
  • Ensure you have the right team

These are just a few of the non-technology things that are important for your business to be successful.

How can technology help? You have an existing list of customers, in your database right? You can mine that database to pull out your best customers, most profitable customers to build a profile of them. Using a tool like Acxiom you can find other customers who are like them and sell to a more refined target customer (you can do this in Facebook and Twitter as well with custom audiences)

Focusing on your customers is very easy to do with CRM. Your sales and marketing software (CRM) can help you keep track of what customers are buying and which customers are buying. You can then send targeted messages to these customers so they buy more and WOW and DELIGHT them after the sale to endear them further to you.

Start small and test. Smith didn’t start selling 1,000 pairs of UGG boots. He brought a small sample from Australia, test, asked questions, and when he knew what his customers wanted and could gauge demand – he sold more and more.

Smith shared that he didn’t always have the right team and had to make adjustments. Although this is not a “CRM” solution – it is something that important for a successful business.

Image via Shutterstock.

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