So, I think about relationships and leadership a lot. After all, any kind of selling – whether you’re selling to businesses or people – is really about building a relationship. Relationships are founded on milestones: your first date, taking a trip or buying your first car. Yet, relationships are forged on the moments that come in between. It’s the small things that you do such as smile a special smile, sharing a joke or opening a door, that speak to who you are and how the person with you feels when they are around you. Now, every business person today has heard from industry “experts” that loyalty is dead. Gen X and Y folks may have eight or more “banking” relationships. They don’t care about what make and model of car they drive etc. According to many, the days of loyalty are fading fast. Do you buy into that? I don’t. Take a look at your favorite sports team. Take a look at their fan base. Among that loyal fanbase – the jersey wearing face painted nation – are people of all ages. Heck, my 5 year old can recite Kobe’s stats and recently schooled me on Metta World Peace. And my house is part of the Spurs Nation. What happened there?
So why aren’t more of your current clients, loyal clients? Are you making every moment matter?
Now, I’m from a small town in South Dakota where you don’t lock your doors, where you know everyone (and their business) and where you go to the same store to purchase whatever you may need every time. People still wave and say hello when you coast on by. And if you burn a bridge, you probably just burned that bridge with half of the town as word spreads quickly. Every moment matters. In today’s hypercompetitive economy, technology keeps people with us all the time – kind of like that same small town. People you haven’t seen in decades “wave” as you pass by on Facebook, and one bad review or relationship turns into a thousand if not properly tended. Today, you must always be aware, providing better and faster service to improve loyalty and keep your clients happy. There are always opportunities to make magic moments each time you work with someone.
Tell Your Story
Every time you speak with someone, reinforce why your service is the best and what sets you apart. After all, you work where you work because you believe in the greater purpose or mission. It’s a basic human need to believe in something. Share proudly why people should believe in you.
Show How Much You Care
Find sincere ways to show your clients how much you value them and how your product or service helps protect and care for them. Every product is designed to meet some basic need. What need does your product satisfy? What problem does is cure? How important is it to you personally that they are protected? Make sure they know.
Everyone Walks Away With A Smile The path to happiness is a short one. It starts with you being happy. How happy do you feel when you sit down across from someone? Is anything getting in the way of your good mood? If so, get rid of it. Is your desk cluttered? Perhaps your mind is cluttered. If you’re in a bad mood in the morning, find a token to remind you to change your frame of mind. Mine is a set of rubber bracelets I picked up at a conference last year. I call them my “Bracelets of Power.” They tell me that “No Negativity is Allowed” and “Success is My Duty.” I glance down at them, get a reminder, and put a smile on my face. No matter how long someone has known you, every time they see you again, there is a tiny little adjustment in how they view you – a tiny judgment. Make sure it’s a good one. (Thanks to Grant Cardone for the token.)
Meet People Where They Are Most of your younger clients today grew up with both in person and digital relationships. They’re comfortable in that space, and they expect you to be too. Why ask them to go out of their comfort zone to meet you? You’ve just added another hurdle to your success. Just like the Country Doctor (AKA my Dad) did back in South Dakota, go to your client instead. Do they want to meet in person? Great. E-mail? Great. Text message? I’d bet a lot of people would appreciate it. That’s what I prefer, and the fastest way to reach me frankly. Then, great. Getting outside of your comfort zone and into theirs helps build that elusive loyalty factor. You’re placing their needs first.
People Remember Mistakes: No matter how good you are, sooner or later, you will let someone down. Don’t let one bad experience ruin someone’s opinion of you or your Company. Mistakes usually happen when you are distracted, whether it’s in multitasking and emailing while you are on a call or just a bit of mental drift near the end of a long day. Remember, every moment matters. Focus on the here and now when you are with someone. Everything else can wait. People have long memories in small towns and online, the world’s biggest small town. And if you don’t have people that believe in you, you won’t have a business. When you do make that dreaded mistake, please apologize. Yes, it’s good manners. Yes, it should be natural, but often we may get defensive. Ultimately, that never helps. A sincere, heartfelt and humble apology will go a long way to rebuilding a damaged relationship and creating a raving fan instead.
Make every moment matter. It’s hard work, but it’s good work. And it’s work that pays dividends both professionally and personally.
So how will you make it matter today?
Proud Mom, climbing the Corporate ladder one day at a time. I build relationships. Day Job: SVP and Experience Fanatic. Life Job: Mom to two Awesome Humans. Love Garth Brooks and Zedd. Follow me @Marci_Francisco