How to Build Quality Relationships
We’ve spent the last couple of days focusing on the importance of relationships as they relate to our business. Today, we share a “how-to,” if you will.
Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB
Gauri Sharma is the CEO of Lab42. She shares her “7 Best Practices for Building Client Relationships” with Forbes Magazine.
1. Be patient in building new relationships. Relationships take time. Resist indulging in disingenuous schmoozing, as it can be a severe put-off.
2. Get to know their industry and company. Keep up with your client’s company as well as their industry.
3. Go the extra mile.
4. Treat every client as your most important one. Simply put, happy clients are more likely to make referrals. Provide all clients with your best service, regardless of whether they are a Fortune 500 company or a small business.
5. Respond promptly. When a client emails you, acknowledge the receipt of the email as quickly as possible, even if you do not have the answer they are looking for. You will give them comfort by simply acknowledging the receipt of their request and by communicating that you’re on it.
6. Be more than an email address. Despite its prevalence in business today, email communication can often be misconstrued, especially during stressful situations, if senders and recipients do not know each other well.
7. Always summarize the next steps. No matter how quick or trivial a client meeting seems, always recap the conversation with the next steps. Many vendors skip this basic step.
The final step is a tool to analyze the quality and focus of your relationships. At RAB, we’ve borrowed from legendary sales trainer Don Beverage, who created the four levels of selling. We have those levels in an easy-to-read chart that will allow you to look at various aspects of your customer relationships. It can be used as an analysis of where you are today, and just as importantly, a roadmap on where to go in the future.
If you want a copy, just email me and I’ll be glad to send it.