Let’s face it, without relationships you have no meaningful business.
When starting out, we had no choice but to completely focus on winning new clients, and the more the merrier. A noble intention for a start-up business as without clients your business wouldn’t last too long. Yet this is only part of the equation – especially for more established enterprises.
Assuming your business has products and services that people want, then shouldn’t growth just be a case of going back to your start-up days, turning up the sales and marketing activity and wearing out the shoe leather on networking… then numbers will follow? If only it were that easy! How many times have you run promotions or campaigns and the results have been sporadic, or when clients did engage, they didn’t hang around for long?
There is another school of thought which says building a strong relationship and truly investing in the experience is much more likely to attract the clients you really want, and the sort of people that will want to trade with you for years to come.
Jonathan Swift, 17th century author behind such works as Gulliver’s Travels, may have hit on something even back then when he wrote: “We were to do more business after dinner; but after dinner is after dinner – an old saying and a true, ‘much drinking, little thinking!’” Maybe we all could benefit from spending a little more time on having those out of business experiences with our existing clients, to truly form long-lasting relationships that are built on both a personal and a professional level… adhering to Coronavirus guidelines at all times of course!
BUILD RELATIONSHIPS – GROWTH WILL FOLLOW
Whether a relationship is with your brand, your front-line workers, or YOU, the quality of these initial and ongoing relationships directly affects the sustainable success of your business over the long term.
We wonder how many of us have relied on CRM systems, video conferencing platforms or emails during lockdown to stay in touch with clients, contacts, and teams? Although useful tools, the use of technology to manage client relationships is not the same as creating a relationship first-hand and nurturing that in an attentive, human and caring way. Business relationships (like any relationships) are made and broken with a feeling of genuine connection, communication, trust and respect.
The widespread use of video conferencing has been an absolute necessity in these restrictive times, and although not a perfect way of connecting, it may have given us more insight into clients’ personal lives (and them yours!) than you would ever have thought possible a couple of months ago. For those of you fortunate enough to experience the relaxed blurring of professional and personal lives on such calls, you should be grateful for all that extra insight for when you can finally meet clients again, face to face, as just another way to strengthen a relationship, even in these times.
It is said that two thirds of clients quit, citing an attitude of indifference from their service provider. Now, more than ever, show your clients and contacts you care. Not just straplines or website promises. Actually, do something: have a clear plan and methodology to create, build and sustain your real business currency – profitable, long term relationships. All good things start with a conversation…
At Castle we thrive on forming long term relationships, based on trust, respect and a sense of humour. We enjoy the satisfaction of helping clients achieve their lifelong business goals and are proud to be part of their successes.
For us, it’s always personal.
You might also be interested to read the first three parts of our blog series ‘Clarity and confidence in a time of crisis’ click here , ‘Negative emotions’ click here and ‘Is now a good time?’ click here
See how Castle can help you ‘Survive to Thrive’– click here