In business, building strong relationships is key to growth and revenue generation. You need customers to buy your products or services, and a happy customer is a loyal customer. A loyal customer is a cheerleader for your brand. And a cheerleader for your brand is the heart of your marketing campaign. So, how do you build relationships? Be generous.
Be giving of your time.
Lack of greed with your time is a great way to show your customers that you care. Being humble is crucial, and being selfless is essential to growing your business. Your customers can smell selfishness like tigers can smell fear, and they’ll build an anti-relationship wall quicker than you can say CYber SYtes.
If you want them to warm up to you, and ultimately become your friend, you have to be giving of your time. They have to be assured without a shadow of a doubt that you are there for them and your time is at their disposal. Take the time to answer their emails within a few minutes of it coming in. Be sure to take their calls or return their calls promptly and show up on time to meetings.
Now, this isn’t to say that this is without limits. Being a savvy business person requires that you use your time with discretion. But, if you are clever, your customers will know you care and they will trust you.
Be giving of your skills.
Obviously discernment is essential in determining what amount of your skill set you can be giving of and what would be considered proprietary information. But, if your customer could figure it out on their own in a semi-reasonable amount of time, you’ll find you’re doing them a huge service by helping them get to that point quicker. Plus, you get another huge added perk: you become an authority. They’ll come to you the next time they have a question, and guess who they’ll send all their friends to that have similar questions? You guessed it, you.
Be giving of your services.
You should be constantly looking at your business to figure out ways you can give back. The gift of reciprocity is an amazing thing because it opens up doors of opportunity and is an immediate in-road to building relationships. If you can find a way to add value to your existing products, reward existing and loyal customers and incentivize new business by being generous and giving, you’re business will grow more than you can imagine.
Generosity is key in any relationship. One of my sons was having some issues in school this past year, which led me to ask him this question, “When was the last time you did something nice to someone at school?” When someone notices you’ve gone out of your way, just a little bit, to do something nice for them (in business or your personal life), they take notice and you have a shot at being their friend. Remember, you have a better chance of selling stuff to your friends that trust you than you do of some stranger.