Developing relationships with customers takes some time. Making those relationships last takes time and effort. It also takes a good plan. Stick to these five key components of customer building and you’ll have promising and profitable customer relationships for years to come.
From the very beginning to the very end, keep things clear. Never try to oversell yourself or your product. This comes down to honesty and integrity. Offer the products and services you know you can fulfil. Anyone can deliver a sales pitch, but not everyone can deliver. It may take a little more time to get a customer to come around, but once they’ve seen a few people fall through on their promises, they’ll flock to you.
Customers depend on your efforts to communicate. Never wait until they reach out. You have to track down the customer and predict what they may need. Let them know when a product will arrive. Let them know of a product or service they might be interested in. Most importantly, make sure that your communication does not revolve around a sale, but on their needs. It’s a great idea to give a follow up call just to check on how things are going.
Being creative in a business relationship is a hard thing to learn. You have to learn how each customer responds. You have to develop each relationship differently. If you know a customer would not respond well to a follow up call or an upsell, just don’t offer those things. Some customers are cut and dry. Other customers want full service and are open to new products and new ideas. These are the customers you can be creative with. Some ways to be creative are to send birthday cards, jokes or holiday gifts. Just like personal relationships, business relationships are all different and have different preferences and tastes to consider.
As you begin to nurture a relationship, it’s important to be consistent. Don’t send a birthday card if you can’t send it every year. Don’t make a follow up call if you know you wouldn’t be able to follow up with every order. The important thing to understand is that you are setting a precedent. Each step of the relationship should be the same as before. Your relationship can and will grow naturally over the years. It should never dwindle.
Lastly, you must care about your customers. They must understand that you have their best interest at heart. Obviously, you are there to make a deal. They should never feel that way. Your customers have businesses and dealings of their own. You should be an integral part of their operations, not just another bill they pay. As such, the most important aspect of a relationship is becoming the reliable business that they can go to for all their needs.