As it’s Valentine’s Day my topic is relationships. I want you to think about how you work at building and maintaining all the different relationships that are important to your business. Now since that would be the subject of a book here, on February14th, are 14 questions to start your thinking:
- How do you say thank you to your customers? A thank you note, a bonus, a small gift will all leave your customers with a great feeling about your business and will help them to pass on the good word.
- What problems do you solve for your customers? Solving your customers’ problems is the ultimate relationship building tool and one you need to communicate with the world.
- How do you show customers you value all feedback including complaints? It is particularly important to hear from your unhappy customers and then to resolve their problems. These people will become your best advocates.
- How do you reward customer loyalty? With ever increasing competition it is important to work hard at keeping your existing customers and this might mean thinking through how you say thank you.
- What do you do to build a relationship with a prospect? People rarely buy at the first time of asking so what do you do to keep your business in the prospect’s mind? How do you establish your credibility?
- How well do prospects understand how you can help them? Does your marketing explain the problems you solve and the benefits of working with you? Can you personalise those benefits to individual prospects?
- How often do you communicate with customers and prospects? Even happy customers are likely to forget you so it’s important to find a way to stay in touch on a regular basis, at least every 90 days.
- What do you do to build relationships with your suppliers? There are many advantages to having a great relationship with your suppliers including preferential terms, priority access to new lines, referrals etc.
- How easy do you make it for those in your network to promote what you do? How well do your contacts understand what you do? Do they understand what kind of prospects/opportunities would be great for you?
- How do you show your appreciation for referrals? We’re back to finding ways to say thank you. A phone call, a letter, a bouquet or a reciprocal referral might also be appreciated.
- What do you do to ensure that your staff members feel valued? This might not be about money but could be about helping their work/life balance, personal development etc.
- How do you reward your staff for the behaviours you want more of? This might be about public recognition for a job well done.
- What are you doing to build relationships with journalists and other influencers? If you have good working relationships with journalists it increases your chances of media coverage. Think how you can help the people who could help you.
- How do you ensure that you have time and energy for the ones you love? Probably the most important relationships so it’s really important to make sure that you find time to keep them going.
I don’t know about you but I’ve got my work cut out to do better with some of these relationships so I’m off to do some work. I’d love to hear any relationship building tips that you’ve got. Why not comment here or email me?