In the traditional business approach, the sale is everything. The old “close the sale–meet the quota” philosophy has changed. Marketers have found that a sale should not be the end of something, but rather a point along the way to a long and profitable journey. Today, marketers are choosing to put more emphasis on building and strengthening relationships with customers. What they have discovered is it’s not about what we can get from them now; it’s about doing what’s right for the client that pays off in the long run.
Simple transactional relationships will only engage when there is a singular need. But relationships built on mutual interest and benefit will likely offer more long-term value and create opportunity. Imagine only calling a friend or partner when you need something from them. Over time, such transactional relationships tend to breed resentment because no one wants to feel used or that they are participating in a one-way or one-dimensional relationship. Business is, at its root, about people acting collaboratively. At Feury Image Group, we put this into practice. Our expressed values include putting the customer first, or as we like to say: we commit like partners, and care like family.
Above, some of the Feury Image Group “family”. Everyone in our company understands the importance of creating and maintaining a solid and trusting relationship with all of our clients.
Change for good
So how do you begin to reshape your transactional connection into a better relationship? Here are a few practical suggestions to make that transition:
1. Know when to quit if it’s not the right fit.
If your team recognizes that they can’t help a prospect, it’s best to let them go and not waste time for either your business or theirs. Instead, perhaps you can introduce them to someone who can provide the solution they are seeking. By doing so, you demonstrate concern for your prospects and that will make them grateful, respectful and may cause them to refer people back to you in the future.
2. Create value first before expecting it in return.
The old sales mantra “ABC- Always Be Closing” is out. It’s time to adopt a new approach, “ABC- Always Be Contributing.” To build a relationship, create value first. Contribute before you try to cash in. Schedule regular meetings, for instance, even if there isn’t any work going on to show interest in the business and lives of your clients and prospects. Ask open-ended questions and listen closely and look for ways to contribute that could help.
“Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” – Henry Ford
3. Ask for Feedback – and use it
The latest project is done. It’s the perfect time to ask for feedback. When you ask “What could be better?”, it opens the door for them to tell you ways, small or large, that could make things better for you both.
Be specific with your questions. “How satisfied were you with the quality? The speed? The price?”. This is better that asking “Were you satisfied?” You’ll get more detailed response. Once you get the feedback, be certain to share both the bad and good feedback with your internal teams.
By building relationships your clients can count on and respect, you stay top of mind the next time they have a need.
If you are looking for more than a transaction, let’s begin a relationship. Get in touch however you would like: on the web, by phone (973.465.0900) or email to email@example.com.