In today’s market, to stand out you have to provide far more than an amazing product or service. You must also build trust and improve the life of clients.
We asked 7 business owners what their secret was for crafting a long term relationship with their clients and this is what they had to share.
Do you incorporate any of these techniques in your relationship building strategy?
#1 - A Name, Not a Number
"I am a person who blends the personal and professional. This is my preferred style, but also one of the keys to success in my business. My clients are my community and my job is to help them feel celebrated, appreciated, and seen. Knowing their names, kids’ names, hometowns, occupations, how they celebrate, and a list of their personal favorite things helps me offer better service, connect with my community, and increase the chances that they will want to collaborate on a cake or cupcake order again. Picking up an order or receiving a delivery should feel like a visit from a friend and not a chore on the party checklist."
Owner and Operator
Red Poppy Cakery
#2 - Educate Them
"Educate the client for the future while addressing their immediate needs - transactional relationships are temporary, but relationships based in the exchange of knowledge are too valuable to sever."
Richard J. Fox
Law Office of Richard J. Fox PLLC
#3 - Be Generous
"Generosity in kindness, honest advice, time, and gifts. When you genuinely give, clients can feel it. That feeling of appreciation pays back with a stronger relationship, more referrals, increased loyalty, or helping a client be more understanding when something goes wrong.
Our most successful clients always blow us away with their generosity. Even when times are tough they continue to send gifts to their clients and staff. When you give with your heart, it always comes back tenfold. Truly, you reap what you sow. "
Founder and CEO
#4 - Be Transparent
"It is important to be transparent with client from the start. After speaking with a client on their project, I take the time to outline what was discussed and next steps for myself and my client. A lasting relationship starts when you and your client have transparent and honest communication with each other on what you are working on with one another. This allows both parties to trust one another; the client trusting your abilities and decisions AND you trusting they understand how best to work with you."
Mieko A. Ozeki
Owner of Radiance Studios LLC
Cofounder of Vermont Womenpreneurs
#5 - Make Them Look Better
"The main reason clients come to us, or any agency or contractor, is to do things they can’t or won’t do themselves, because we have expertise or experience or capacity that they lack. So we should fill that need in a reliable way, making their lives easier, delivering as promised. Yet I also like to think that we should always be striving to make our clients look better, whether it is making the marketing director look like a rock star for having hired us, or, say, by making the client look better by providing amazing images for their website. So that’s my two cents on how to build lasting client relationships: make their life easier and make them look better. Who wouldn’t want a partner like that?"
#6 - Handwritten Thank You Cards
"The power of receiving a physical card in the mail is lasting, and writing out by hand makes your client know just how special they are. Go that extra mile and send a handwritten thank you card. You will be surprised how much of an impact that it will make.
CW Print + Design
#7 - Solve a Non-Business Problem
"I am a natural born problem solver and I am constantly listening for frustrations that folks are dealing with. I have found that if I can solve a non-business related problem for a client, it really goes a long way. Anything from providing them with a great referral to a local electrician for their home or just an open ear for something they are trying to resolve.
Each of the above business owners is extremely knowledgable in their industry, and has seen an immense amount of business growth based on relationship building. As a business owner, you must evolve and much of that revolves around networking. Providing an amazing product or service is one thing, but having a solid and concrete relationship with your clients is what allows you to stand out from the crowd and provide your clients or customers with something not only tangible but also long-lasting.
If you are searching for the answers, and looking for business advice from the above experts, do not hesitate to contact the Eternity crew.