For every salesperson, relationships with their customers might be the single most important thing on their tool belt. If their relationships are strong and positive, then success will follow. Not only will the salesperson have the customers, they will also benefit from word of mouth from those customers.
On the contrary, if a salesperson struggles to develop and maintain relationships, then its going to be almost impossible to sustain success. With that in mind, here are some keys to building and maintaining customer relationships.
Foster trust: No relationship is ever going to work without trust and sales is no different. If a customer does not trust what a salesperson is telling them, then a relationship is impossible. Take the time to build trust, no matter how long it takes. The long-term rewards will be worth the work you put in now.
Keep your promises: If you promise delivery by a certain date, then the product had better be there before that date. If you promise you can get your customer a certain price, then that better be the price they pay. Breaking a promise is the quickest way to lose a customer, even a repeat customer, but following through on your promises will keep your customers coming back. The old saying of “Under Promise and Over Deliver” must become your internal motto!
Make it easy: Not all, but a lot of people, would rather do anything than shop; but at some point they believe that they don’t have a choice. Take the time to find out what part of the process frustrates your customers the most, and make it as stress free as possible for them. For example, if they don’t like filling out the paperwork then offer to fill it out for them. You will be surprised at how something that simple can put your customer at ease. If you and your customer can find something fun in the purchasing process, much of the anxiety they are carrying can be dispelled.
Be an expert: Customers are coming to see you because you have a level of expertise regarding the product(s) they are buying. Make sure you are able to meet their expectation by developing an extensive knowledge of your products. Then, mentally place yourself in the customer’s position and ask all the questions that they might have and all the concerns that might bother them and then answer them to your own satisfaction. Become the expert that you would ask if you were the buyer! Making your expertise available after the sale as well, through phone calls, e-mails, blogs and other communication outlets opens the door to further contact and positive referrals for friends and family.
Building and maintaining relationships with customers is the key for long-term success for all salespeople. Take the time necessary to make sure you are doing everything you can to ensure success.