When you’re a service-based sales professional, so much of your success depends on your sphere of influence. Repeat business and referrals can mean the difference between a life of freedom and a life spent chasing new leads.
That’s why it’s so important to build the kinds of client relationships that will bring you more business down the line. The way you do this is by focusing not just on single transactions, but on how each customer interaction fits into the bigger picture.
In other words, it’s all about the long term. You want to make clients feel like they’re part of your journey, so that they become your biggest advocates. Here are a few suggestions for doing exactly that.
Be authentic and vulnerable.
When it comes to building long-term relationships with customers, authenticity is of the utmost importance. By letting your true self shine through, you’re letting clients know you can be trusted—and clients want to do business with someone they can trust.
Being authentic means letting your customers see the real you, warts and all. It means openly sharing your goals and your triumphs, but it’s also the willingness to be vulnerable.
At the 2018 Disrupt Tour, I met a man named Tyler Harris, who spoke about his struggles with alcoholism. Alongside many great presentations about having a winning mindset, Tyler’s story really resonated with the audience. That’s because people connect with vulnerability more than they do with success.
Of course, your customers ultimately want to know that you’re going to deliver on the promises you make to them. But there’s something to be said for being open about your struggles, as well as the steps you’ve taken to overcome them. Which brings me to my next suggestion…
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
In the same way that people respond favorably to authenticity and vulnerability, they also want to do what they can to help you succeed.
Alexa Smith, a former employee of ReminderMedia, is a great example of how this philosophy can benefit real estate agents. She regularly checks in on social media to share her successes, as well as her struggles. If she needs a little help generating leads, she might reveal that she’s only got two leads left in her pipeline, and then ask her followers if they know anyone looking for an agent. Because Alexa goes above and beyond for her clients, they’re more than happy to reward her with referrals.
The thought of asking clients for referrals terrifies some people, but it shouldn’t. After all, when your customers are invested in your success, they’ll naturally be more inclined to send help your way when they know you need it most.
Send something special their way.
Of course, when clients go out of their way to help you, it’s important that you show your appreciation. When a customer mentions you on social media, respond with a handwritten thank-you note. When they give you a referral, send them a gift basket, a gift card to a nice restaurant, or maybe even a customized magazine.
Ultimately, when you reward the behavior you’re seeking from your customers, you’re more likely to see it become a pattern.
Connect them with what they want.
Another way you can encourage people to help you is by helping them. Do what you can to help your customers solve their pain points and achieve their goals, even when those goals and pain points have nothing to do with what you sell.
If your client needs a plumber, don’t just give them the business card of someone you know. Instead, actually offer to make the appointment for them. Has your client been dying to check out that new restaurant where it’s seemingly impossible to get reservations? Make a few phone calls and get them a table.
When you do these kinds of things for your customers, you’re triggering the reciprocity effect—increasing the likelihood they’ll not only work with you again, but also that they’ll recommend you to their family, friends, and neighbors.
So, to sum things up, don’t hesitate to announce your goals, always show gratitude, and consistently do more for your clients than they would ever expect. When you treat your customer relationships as much more than simple transactions, your customers will be glad to return the favor.
If you’re already using ReminderMedia’s services to build your relationships, thank you! And if you’d like to see what all the fuss is about, click here to learn more or request a free PDF sample today.