When it comes to doing great business, healthy relationships are at the root of everything. Creating, cultivating, and maintaining relationships is the source code for success in business. Only when clients and customers know that you’re genuinely interested in helping them accomplish their goals, do you begin the process of building trust and loyalty. Failing to connect at this core level is all the evidence one would need to take their business to your competitors. Relationships matter just as much as products and services do. We had the recent opportunity to dialogue with certified master coach and MBTI practitioner, Dr. D Ivan Young to share four essentials that promote the growth and development of healthy business relationships.
LISTENING. The inability to actively listen can immediately sabotage potential or new relationships. Not paying attention to a client’s needs will cost you relationship equity. So, make sure that you are fully present at all times. Most salespeople, management, and even executives will admit that they can significantly improve their listening skills. One simple way to put this into practice is by repeating back what you’ve been asked to provide—saving time, money, and mistakes. Your ability to actively listen shows that you respect and value the relationship and have the person’s best interest at heart.
TRANSPARENCY. Because we’re more socially connected than ever before, the consumer is much more savvy about who they do business with and authenticity is one of the main qualities that they look for. Not being open, honest, and upfront can make them feel like you have a hidden agenda. Therefore, it is wise to clearly discuss goals, objectives, and expectations upfront. The sooner your transparency is revealed, the more comfortable they’ll feel toward you. This considerably contributes to building the “trust” factor.
PATIENCE. Don’t damage a potential deal or transaction because of wrong priorities or lack of patience. When you rush the process, a client can feel the pressure. When you’re more focused on profits over people, it’s a glaring sign that what you’re not focused on is bringing the best solution, at the right time that’s best for those whom you serve. Remember that the primary reason they are engaged with you is to solve “their problem,” not yours. If you handle initial business well, they’ll probably keep you in mind when it comes to repeat business.
INTEGRITY. Getting a client is one thing, keeping them is another. It’s imperative to—at minimum—stay true to your brand promise. To be exceptional, it’s recommended to overdeliver and underpromise. Many entrepreneurs are great in the initial phases of business, but it takes consistent, high-quality delivery to build great relationships for the long-term. Keep metrics regarding your client’s experience and the service you provide. This can be accomplished through phone calls, email correspondence or online surveys. Strategic client satisfaction creates and builds brand loyalty and produces win-win scenarios for both parties.