I’ve always heard in my many years of business consulting that people buy from people they like. I have always known this to be the truth. Having a deeper relationship with your clients will always pay off for them and for you.
In many ways, business today has become very transactional. Consumers conduct online research first on products that they like and often just order them to be delivered. I love that convenience! If you are in a service industry, like we are with our Phoenix Web Design Company, you need to be cautious about just being transactional. We have clients call us every week that want to add additional services or inquire about new services. If we are not doing our due diligence and getting to deeply know our client, we may be doing them an injustice.
So how do we get to know our clients? Luckily for us, this part is easy. The key is just to spend time with them. Chances are, if you’re in sales you already have an extremely pleasing personality. Let’s assume that you do and your customers already like you and are interested in the products and services that your company offers. While we don’t want to annoy our client and bombard them, it is very important for us to understand every aspect of their business. It is imperative that we understand how they make money, how they service their clients, what hurdles they are facing, who their competition is and how they measure up to that competition. Here are some really simple ways to get the knowledge and understanding that you need while building a strong relationship with your clients.
- Do your research. Just like when consumers make educated purchases, it is important for you to become an expert in your client’s industry. Many times in my career I have sat down with a sales person who had no real idea of what we did for a living and that always became obvious during their presentation. A well-educated sales person should have a deep understanding of his potential client’s business. Spend hours reading and absorbing material about your client’s industry. Know who their competition is and know where your client stands in comparison to them. Have a deep understanding of their products and services along with the people who need and use them. With the amazing wealth of resources that we have today, it doesn’t take long to gain a deep knowledge of anything. Put in the work before you meet, they will see that it is obvious you’ve done so.
- Ask Questions. Always remember that no matter what you know, you don’t know everything. Your clients most likely spend plenty of time in internal meetings discussing pain points that are not obvious to you. They are aware of problems that you are not aware of. Ask questions to uncover these issues and find out what steps they may already be taking to fix them. Take plenty of notes; you will usually notice that people like to talk about their business. As long as you document these pain points, you can address them all one by one when putting your action plan together for them.
- Don’t be a salesperson. Our Phoenix Web Design business got out of sales a long time ago. We focus purely on consulting with our existing and potential clients here in the Phoenix area. I am meeting with them to uncover all of their needs and issues and put an action plan together to help them. Once your clients realize that you have your heart in the right place and are there to help, you will earn their trust. Being a consultant means getting away from a transactional mentality and focusing on building relationships with your clients. These relationships go way beyond a transactional sale. Our Web Design Business in Phoenix gets referrals every month from previous clients. We get referrals because we have the trusted relationship and our clients know that we will always do business that way.
- Stay in touch. If you are fortunate enough to have a book of clients, always make sure that you keep in touch with them. In our Phoenix based Web Design business, I make sure to follow up with my existing clients every month. I send them an update on what is new in our industry. I also send them articles that I read that may have an effect on their business.