Today’s prospects and customers want meaningful, valuable relationships with their vendors. Interactions that are thought-provoking, interactive and memorable will help you stand out from the competition and are critical in developing strong relationships. There’s been an evolution from the ‘expert for hire’ to a trusted advisor.
Opportunities are won or lost based on the strength of your relationships and how well you demonstrate that you understand their business and the issues they are facing. Too often, sales people are focused on telling a prospect why their company is so great rather than really getting to know the client and listening to what their challenges are.
Remember, companies don’t buy – people do. Even in a high tech world, human touch can give you an edge. Here are a few other reasons to focus on building relationships:
- Profitability. It costs less to sell to an existing customer than it does to find a new one. Investing in relationships will increase the likelihood that new customers become repeat customers.
- Consistency. Repeat customers often purchase at predictable intervals, providing your business a steady cash flow. The ability to accurately forecast and count on revenue is critical to a business.
- Referrals. The stronger your relationship is with your customer, the more likely they will be to refer you business. This is basically free advertising.
- Competitive edge. Building strong relationships with your customers creates loyalty, giving you a leg up on your competition. By taking your customers for granted you risk losing them to the competition.
Your customers are the foundation of your business. By building your relationship with them, you are making a long term investment in the success of your business.