Building Long Term Relationships
I was a very fortunate kid growing up. I had my sister, parents and grandparents constantly showing love and support in anything I did. This instilled a natural kindness and generosity in my character so it was always very easy for me to make friends and naturally I wanted to extend this same love to others. I took this same type of energy and applied it to my professional life.
I’ve worked as an Advertising Account Manager for over a decade because relationship building is a huge part of the job. We take relationships very seriously. From taking top prospects to a Warriors playoff game (hopefully next year!), sacrificing sleep so we can respond that much quicker to questions, all in the hopes the experience will give us that slight edge in closing a deal. What I have learned from a decade of this is that at the end of the day it’s not really about warriors game tickets but about building long term relationships. Building it with close friends takes time and effort so why wouldn’t it be the same with customers?. For a lot of small businesses, it can be difficult to succeed in allocating resources to do this, however here are a few things you can do that will help you save money, time, and make the customer retention process more enjoyable.
Your goal is for you to identify a client need and introduce the customer to your products/solutions. The goal of the consumer is to find products and services that add value to their business. I try to think of my customers as a friend or a really good acquaintance. Always keep in mind the value your client/friend is getting out of your relationship and how you can continue to nurture it. You already know the value they give you and a big part in nurturing a long-term relationship is making someone feel special and valuing the relationship.
SHOW THEM YOU CARE
Isn’t it always a pleasant surprise when a friend you haven’t seen in a while passes by and drops off a gift? Just because. It’s a simple act of thoughtfulness. I really believe you should try to treat each of your clients in the same manner. Really think of your customers as someone you care about akin to a close friend. When people show effort and care, it doesn’t go unnoticed. And this is especially true when it comes to businesses we buy from. Chick-Fil-A has become known for their extreme pleasantry. Have you ever wanted to go to a rude Chick-Fil-A? (Maybe because that’d be kind of funny). My point is this: Be kind and caring to your customers and there is a good chance they will continue to let you be kind and caring to them.
ENGAGE WITH CLIENT SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
I remember the first time tagging a brand on an Instagram post and they responded to me. Out of all the customers out there, it was an amazing feeling to be recognized by a brand I consume. You want to show the same type of energy with your clients. Some clients have active social platforms with large followings and if your business gets tagged, it could be really beneficial.
It’s an ongoing journey to obtain and retain clients. I hope that these tips can help you do both. At the end of the day, when you really focus on trying to help people, it starts to feel less like work and more like helping a friend.
Be kind. Be caring. Be real.