To succeed, a small business owner ( or service/product salesperson) must not only meet but exceed their customers’ expectations. This includes the establishment of solid personal relationships.
Let’s look at a few of the characteristics that make up personal relationships:
- KNOWLEDGE: this is a shared process. In a business transaction, both the client and the business owner should have complete knowledge of each other.
- ACTING ON THE KNOWLEDGE: Acting on the knowledge means getting out of your “business box” and passing on information that is of interest to the client. i.e. information on a new sports car if that is their interest.
- MEANINGFUL DIALOGUE: This means listening well; asking the right questions, having the right answers and knowing when you are supposed to do the talking.
- LONG TERM: Start each relationship with the intent of making it a long term, continuous, relationship. Having this attitude at the start with a new business contact, you will see how your approach improves as you proceed through the initial contact period.
- MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL: personal relationships mean that both parties have the best interest of each other in all their actions and transactions. Don’t nourish a relationship where your customer is always on the “taking end”.
Now let’s look at what customers expect. ( from a book Customers that Count by Tony Cram)
- Reliability-you keep your promises
- Trust-I have confidence in you
- Recognition-you remember my needs
- Accessibility-we can communicate
- Service/assistance-you manage my time effectively
- Education-you keep me up to date
- Preference-I get fair prices and priority
- Individuality-I like to associate myself with you
This list of customer expectations and the characteristics of a personal relationship should be framed and posted in every business office so that the entire staff is aware of their responsibilities. It does not belong only on the owner’s wall or the sales person’s wall.
Review this at the start of each day. Make it a subject at your staff meetings. Spend time developing each of the expectations as they apply to you and your business.
Connecting with people is a two-way street. It is a dialogue, not a monologue.
Nick J. Petra CFP Fear of the unknown is not a reason for not having a coach. I follow my own advice and follow the characteristics in establishing a personal relationship with my clients and work hard to exceed your expectations. Call me at 602-989-1592 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a Successful Today.