Strong Client Relationships
In our last blog, we talked about how important it is to be constantly working on personal relationships to be an effective sales person; but how do you build and maintain those relationships?
Making solid business relationships may seem simple, but they require time and effort just like any relationship. Developing and maintaining these connections may seem like a waste of time and may even feel like a burden, but often the rewards are significant. These connections, whether built over weeks, months, or years, can lead to positive word-of-mouth, increased sales, better connections, and job satisfaction.
Think about what makes the personal ties you’ve formed outside of work so strong. These are a great foundation for creating strong connections with clients.
Everyone wants to be treated like a person, not a number or a goal to be reached. The client will be aware that you are doing business with them in order to gain something, that’s how business works, but making sure the client feels as though they are worth more than that, is the first step to recurring business. Get to know your client, remember their name and use it. Learn something about their interests. That they religiously watch My Kitchen Rules, love their cat, or are training for a marathon is information you should want to know about your client. Too many businesses make the mistake of training employees to memorise their sales presentations with little variation, when all a customer really wants is for you to communicate with them like they are human. Tell (appropriate) jokes, be conversational; learn something about their industry and have a chat about it.
Be honest about your capabilities; give yourself enough time to do a great job, and don’t mislead the client about your skills. Build your relationship through the work that you do. If the client is aware of your capabilities, you’ll have the same expectations from a project. You want them to trust you, so be as honest as possible.
Once you’ve forged a relationship with someone, you have to continue maintaining that relationship. Be persistent about your connection with a client, but not pushy. You want them to know you value their time. These relationships you’ve created can deteriorate a lot more easily than they were built. By maintaining contact and interest in them, you’ll be able to tell if the client is unhappy with your work and have an easier time fixing any issues.
Make sure the work you are doing is the best it can be. It’s important not to forget that no level of personal connection can make up for substandard work.