You’ve heard the maxim is, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Taking it a step further, we might say, it’s not who you know, it’s how you connect. People like to do business with people they like.
To create this kind of relationship — not just with customers but with staff, vendors, and business associates — consider the following steps:
- Give Your All. Your customers deserve your absolute best, in terms of attitude, service, products, and follow-up. We pride ourselves on customer service at Super Cheap Signs, so we know whereof we speak. First, make sure a potential customer is the right fit for your business: someone whom you can cheerfully and completely serve for years to come. If not, think about referring them to someone else in your field that might be able to serve them better. This builds tremendous goodwill that can come back to you as business in unexpected ways.
- Go for Synergy. You’re seeking long-term customer closeness, not a one-time sale. What forms of mutual exchange are possible with this prospect? Can she refer you to other businesses that may need your services, for example, or introduce you to influential people at the Chamber, Rotary Club, and other organizations where you could give a presentation on your business?
- Align with Allies. Do you admire the mission and values of the companies you’re seeking to do business with? Can you support their business approach? Your comfort level is critical to stellar service delivery; it’s difficult to conduct business with a client whose integrity you question or whose tactics you eschew. At Super Cheap Signs, for example, we align with a select group of carefully chosen partners in order to enhance our customer experience by offering extended product lines that focus on specific business needs.
- Exceed expectations. Going the extra mile may be a tired phrase, but the principle is perennial. Once you’ve formed an alliance with a new customer, deliver more than agreed upon. If you can personalize that extra touch, so much the better. Perhaps you deliver a “goody basket”, except instead of fruit it contains full color vinyl decals, embossed with their company logo. Use your imagination to come up with an idea that is neither expected nor required, and that’s guaranteed to delight.