On Valentine’s Day we talked about the “romance” in sales and how developing long term customer relationships is very similar to developing long term personal relationships.
Yesterday, we discussed keeping the romance alive in prospective customer relationships.
Today, our focus is how to keep that romance alive with your existing account base. This not only solidifies long term business relationships, but also brings new relationships in the form of consistent referrals.
Existing Client Relationships:
- Give and Gain Meetings: Get twenty minutes with the company owner. Tell them that you have an ever expanding sphere of influence and that you would like to help their business. Ask them, “What do I need to ask my contacts in order to find out if they would be a good referral for you?” Then refer business to them consistently and frequently.
- Mind Your Business: Make sure that you and your company always follow through in taking care of the promises you make during the sales process.
- Give Them More: Within profit and loss reason, always find ways to give more to your customers than the compensation you receive in return. Find ways that you can creatively add value at no real expense to you or your company.
- Continue the Romance: Keep doing the 7 Steps to Keeping Customer Romances Alive with your prospects that you learned from yesterday’s post. Customer relationships – just like personal relationships will go bad if you stop doing the things that made the relationship so great in the beginning. I have heard it said that men look at the wedding date as the finish line, and then stop romancing their wife in the same way they did during the courtship. This type of “bait and switch” is a killer in personal relationships – as it is in business relationships.
- Bake Cookies: It really doesn’t matter if you actually bake cookies or not – do something special for your clients on a regular basis. I actually did bake cookies for many of my accounts. They were shocked that a man could (and would) do such a thing.
- Develop Real Friendships: Be a friend and make friends with everyone you meet in the process. This applies not only to decision makers, but even those who have no part in the process. The goodwill you generate by doing so always comes back in some form or fashion.
- Remember the Platinum Rule: Dr. Tony Alessandra says “We have all heard of the Golden Rule – and many people aspire to live by it. The alternative to the Golden Rule is the Platinum Rule. Treat others the way THEY want to be treated.” That single principle is one of the strongest relationship builders you will ever find.
What will you do to develop better long-term relationships with your current customer base in 2014?