I know, I know! This may not sound as well as I think it is! So let me tell you what I mean.
Some people are really fast at catching things and understanding how the world is. Some kids were actually born with the information age so computers and chat rooms and FB and IG and Twitter and so on and so forth are really easy for them.
I’m sure you have that ad in mind where the kids show their parents how to surf the net. I love it!
But we were not all born with a iphone in our hands!
Some of us know what was before and we actually saw the changes and we can even anticipate the new stuff coming down the pipe.
One thing that we have however, is the more personal approach that we built when there was no computers, no intelligent phones. We may be late bloomers as far as computer age is concerned but we are probably better in one on one relationships and in talking to people…because we had to learn this at a young age.
And nowadays in computer land, and in network marketing world, knowing how to build relationships is vital and we can teach a lesson or two to our kids and, in business, to our partners and customers.
As Melinda Gates rightly said:
“I tell my daughters to have their voice in this world, and it became clear I needed to role-model that.”
And we can do that at any age and be successful in all our endaveour.
For your benefit, I found that list that outlines what Gauri Sharma believes it takes for businesses to transition from a vendor type of business to a trusted partner relationship:
- Be patient in building new relationships. Relationships take time. Resist indulging in disingenuous schmoozing, as it can be a severe put-off. Instead, take the time to get to know your client, and share a little bit of yourself. Most importantly, remember that your work for your client is paramount in building a relationship. At the end of the day, no amount of personal connection can substitute for great work.
- Get to know their industry and company. Keep up with your client’s company as well as their industry. You don’t have to be an expert, but this will help you speak the same language as the client, understand what keeps them up at night, and cater your interaction and offerings accordingly.
- Go the extra mile. As you grow your business and your client relationships, there will be times that you’ll have to make a decision on when to adjust or expand your core offerings to cater to the needs of a client. The benefits of offering customized solutions are two-fold: 1) clients remember the times you came through for them and 2) it may open up additional revenue streams and new product offerings you had not previously considered. A word of caution, though: if you are making a significant departure from your core offerings, ensure you are adequately compensated.
- Treat every client as your most important one. Simply put, happy clients are more likely to make referrals. Provide all clients with your best service, regardless of whether they are a Fortune 500 company or a small business. You never know who your clients may know or to whom they will refer you. Just as importantly, when they switch jobs, either within their company or to a new one, you want to be the partner they recommend to their new team. Lastly, it is important to remember that today’s small companies could be the big companies of tomorrow, and it’s incredibly fulfilling to be a trusted partner fueling that growth.
- Respond promptly. When a client emails you, acknowledge the receipt of the email as quickly as possible, even if you do not have the answer they are looking for. You will give them comfort by simply acknowledging the receipt of their request and by communicating that you’re on it. This may seem like a no-brainer, but I often see relationship managers worry about having the right answer, and as a result, they forget to acknowledge that they are on the case.
- Be more than an email address. Despite its prevalence in business today, email communication can often be misconstrued, especially during stressful situations, if senders and recipients do not know each other well. Use other channels to help shed light on who you are. Consider a phone call, Skype or an in-person meeting to put a face (or voice) to a name. Often the phone gets a bad reputation (e.g. using it to ‘get on the same page’), but if used for good news, a phone call is a great way to build a better relationship with your client.
- Always summarize next steps. No matter how quick or trivial a client meeting seems, always recap the conversation with next steps. Many vendors skip this basic step. You think you’ll remember all of the details, and maybe you will, but your client may not. Aligning on the same page with next steps prevents a lot of confusion down the road.
Build business relationship and you will be successfull!