Building Relationships with Customers

 

In business, it is important to build and grow a relationship with your customers. Often the focus seems to be on getting more and more customers or dealers. While this is important for a business to grow, it is important to not lose sight of your current customers. Repeat customers are really what keeps your business going.

Let’s say you’re a manufac­turer and a new dealer orders some product from your business. A year later you suddenly realize that though the dealer ordered from you, he never came back. Just because he made a purchase, do not assume the client will stay without maintaining and growing the relationship. As a business owner, it’s important to be able to keep those clients. Establishing a good relation­ship is a great way to do that -- whether that is you directly or your staff. Return customers are happy customers, and happy customers are more likely to refer your business to people they know.

Communication is huge in any relationship, and it’s no different in business. Be sure to thank your clients for their business. You can write them, email or give them a small gift. Something that makes them realize you appreciate their business. Be intentional about your relationships. You want to make your customers feel that you are an intentional and strategic business that has their best interests in mind.

Follow up on customers. Depending on what type or what size your business is, hire and train sales staff that make it a priority to check up on custom­ers to see if they need anything. It is important as a salesperson to establish that relationship that makes overall communication easier.

As a salesperson it is good to know as much as possible about your product and know how to communicate with the people you are selling to. Ask questions, figure out exactly how they are using the product. The more you learn, you may be able to address their specific needs. Make sure to allow for any questions they may have and avoid running over them with a sales pitch.

Empower your customers. If you feel that a dealer is not performing like they could, be intentional and step out of your way to check in with them about what is going on. Offer suggestions, marketing support and sales training to empower and excite them. Remember, a dealer is a business partner, NOT an end customer. Get alongside your dealers to help them connect with the ultimate end buyer: the consumer.

Good relationships with clients also allow for more potential clients through networking. The more positive feedback and satisfied customers, the better it is for your business.

New customers are always great, but keeping the customers that you have happy should always be a high priority when it comes to any business.