Advice for Building Relationships with Clients

May 19, 2021 by First Federal Bank

ClientsIf you’re focused on the long-term success of your business, you’ve already realized the importance of building ongoing relationships with customers. The best way to boost your sales isn’t to focus on your bottom line; it’s to foster connections of respect.

That’s easier said than done, so here is some advice from sales experts on how you can transform your approach to sales — and to your customers:

Start with a conversation, not a sales pitch

If you go into meetings with potential clients ready to blast them with the same bombastic sales pitch you use on everyone, you’re approaching this all wrong. Convincing someone to do business with you shouldn’t be achieved through pressure or insistence; it should begin with a genuine conversation.

“When you call someone, avoid making a mini-presentation about yourself, your company, and what you have to offer,” says Ari Galper of The Balance Small Business. Instead, start by asking questions that shed light on your customer. It’s the best way to find their pain points and offer a solution, rather than pressuring them into a decision they don’t understand or aren’t ready to make.

Most important of all: listen. You’ll learn a lot more about a customer’s priorities and concerns when you close your mouth and let them speak.

Work toward a foundation of trust

If a potential customer doesn’t trust you, they won’t do business with you. And if you lose their trust after getting their money, they’re not going to do business with you again. Trust is the gas that keeps your success rolling.

In a Forbes article, entrepreneur Samantha Harrington shared some suggestions for building trust. In her experience, meeting with clients face to face as much as possible builds trust better than only calling or emailing them. If you share a mutual friend or acquaintance with the lead, they may be more likely to meet and take you seriously.

Show you’re an expert on the industry you’re in and the commodities on the market by sharing your knowledge. But, also be willing to admit when you don’t know something.

“People can tell when you’re being insincere, so don’t be,” warn the experts at revenue solutions company Insight Squared. “Your clients will stop trusting you if you seem fake. It is obvious that you are only manipulating them for sales.”

Keep the relationship alive after closing the deal

It may be tempting to take the signed contract and split, dedicating all your time to pursuing your next lead, but long-term success requires your ongoing commitment to all existing relationships. Don’t fall out of touch after you’ve closed the deal.

Insight Squared recommends you, “Follow their company on social media and in the news and congratulate them on their successes. Let them know when you release new products and new features.” You should also periodically check in with customers to ensure your product or service is meeting their needs as they believed it would.

Forming relationships with potential and current clients helps them feel like you’re there to meet their needs rather than get their money. Such a dynamic is crucial to building lasting business success.

Categories: Small Business, Entrepreneurship

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