Can you imagine the following scenario? Your customer profile consists of people who solely value your products and services, who dont make decisions based solely on price, and who dont try the competition occasionally. Seems like a dream, doesnt it? Well, this can be your reality with some hard work, value positioning and building of strong customer relationships. When a salesperson (you) is valued as an asset to the customer, he becomes ingrained within the customers organization, making it virtually impossible for others (the competition) to get any business.
So what is the best way to make yourself valuable and build customer relationships? Here are some excerpts from an article from small business sales training web site, SalesprenurEDGE, providing some insight on how strong customer relationships are formed.
Getting Started Developing A Foundation
It is important to realize that a solid customer relationship is not developed overnight; it takes time and effort. When establishing a new relationship with a customer, it is important to pay attention to the little details that make a big difference. As a rule of thumb, everything you do should make it easy for the customer to do business with you. Here are some examples:
1. Respect the customers time, show up on time and stay within the time allotted for your meeting / discussion. 2. Learn as much as you can about the customer and start thinking of ways you can help make their job easier. When working with a customer, in the back of your mind think of ways to make the customer a hero within his or her organization.
The reason that building a foundation is important is in the customers mind there is some level of risk involved in making a purchase decision. This is not a personal reflection on you, but a natural part of the buying process. If there is nothing that removes some of the risk from the mind of the customer, he will not make a purchase. Simply do the right thing by your customer and treat him the same way you would like to be treated if you were in his shoes. Over time, you will reap the rewards of building a strong foundation.
Strengthening The Customer Relationship
The strength of a customer relationship occurs during and after a sale has been made, as well as when leading up to future purchase decisions. In fact, the strength of a customer relationship can be measured by how many times you have cycled through the sales process with a customer. The key to making this an ongoing process is, again, being able to continually add value to the customer. Be aware that a common pitfall here is that you may think you are adding value, but if your customer doesnt perceive value, then you have not provided value. Here are some are some examples of what you can do provide value and strengthen your relationship with the customer.
1. Understand the customers needs. 2. Admit mistakes. 3. Pick up the phone.