What do you believe makes a good business relationship? Without solid business relationships with customers, you won't have loyalty.
“Remember that what you believe will depend very much on what you are.” — Noah Porter, Congregational minister, academic, philosopher, and author.
The Secret of Strong Business Relationships Is Greater Profits
Why spend time and money chasing customers when you could have referrals? But business relationships aren't as strong as they seem.
Incorrect beliefs about building strong business relationships will hurt your profits. Relationships with customers, employees, and vendors matter. Invest in this understanding.
What you desire for your customer, won't match what they desire for their business. What vendors expect from you won't be acceptable. Learn to come to agreements.
You can want the best for clients, but they may not want to pay for it. Yet when there is alignment, you'll build trust with customers and vendors.
What Does It Take to Build Strong Business Relationships?
Stronger business relationships mean more referrals from customers. Your advertising dollars go further. There will be fewer customer complaints.
Here's how you start building strong business relationships. Start doing these things in your business every day:
- Help customers understand the value of how you do things. Don't assume they know the benefits of your quality work versus typical work.
- Show the benefits of choosing your level of quality. Go beyond electrical code, and explain how poor quality work can burn down their factory.
- Deliver consistent work better than you promise. Under promise in your contracts and communications so that you can deliver. Seek measurable satisfaction.
- Reward customers who refer quality new business that is profitable. Make a big deal when a customer trusts you enough to refer your business. Use gifts, praise, and acknowledgment.
- Help customers understand what kind of business they ought to refer. Don't assume good service will lead to a referral. Use your marketing to teach customers how to network.
- Hire sparks who will do consistent work with a smile. You need the right people on your team and in your back office. (RELATED: Do This Before You Hire Your Next Electrician)
- Set fair rates that are profitable and a good value for customers. Gone are the days when cheap prices win customers. If all they can spend is very little, how will you cover the costs AND margin?
- Show up on time for projects, and get work done as you promised. Never let a project delay because you didn't show up.
- Communicate about project changes and supply issues faced. Keep your customers and downstream vendors well-informed. Poor communications creates misunderstandings.
- Choose vendors in pairs so you always have a backup. It's never a good excuse to blame a delay on someone else. Avoid delays by having fail-safe options in place.
Understanding what you want in business relationships AND what your customers want is critical. Invest in the dialog necessary to understand your customers' expectations.
Get on the Right Track Building Relationship With Profitable Customers
Since you are not your customer, you'll need to observe them very often to know for sure. They won't always do what they say they will.
Yes, it's a double standard. Most customers promise to pay on time or refer business if you give a discount. But they won't.
ACTION: Jot down what you believe makes a great business relationship; email it to me or post it here as a comment for others to learn from. I'll give you feedback.
Measure the strength of your business relationships with repeat customers. The only profits your business has is customers. With accurate beliefs about business relationships, you'll be more profitable.
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