All great relationships require nurturing. And while we don’t usually think of customer relationships the same way we think about love… when it comes to the best expert advice on the subject, we couldn’t help but notice a lot of similarities.
For Valentine’s Day, enjoy this timeless advice from the experts about customer relationships – or any other relationships on your mind today!
1. Challenge your limiting beliefs
Cultivating great relationships with customers even as your company grows is every businesses’ top priority. If you want to scale, you’ll need the right tools, like a great CRM. But you’ll also need the right mindset.
In The Psychology of Selling, Brian Tracy talks about “self-concept.” A person with a good self-concept believes that every day presents a myriad of opportunities – sales opportunities! – no matter what the pipeline looks like, because they believe in their own mission and they believe in themselves to achieve it. They know – and project – that they’re providing immense value. When you’re confident in your own value, customers will believe in your value too. It’s contagious!
2. Be of service
In To Sell is Human, by Daniel Pink, a man is looking to buy a vacuum. But instead of just selling him a vacuum, he suggested being a “problem finder” instead of only a “problem solver.” How can we become more attuned to the hidden problems, rather than the stated problem?
The problem in this case is: He has too much dust in his house. There are many solutions to this – new windows, a housecleaner, or perhaps a new vacuum. Which is the best for him though?
As Pink says,
“This is what it means to serve: improving another’s life and, in turn, improving the world.”
3. Sell benefits, not products
Zig Zeigler, one of the original motivational speakers, and author of many books on sales, says in Selling 101,
“Prospects do not buy products. Prospects buy products of the products — known as benefits… Prospects buy what the product will do for us.”
We can only know how our customers will benefit from our solution when we truly understand their problems. When we really listen.
A benefits-first approach helps your customers get to the heart of your business much faster. After that, be honest about what problems you can solve, and which ones you can’t. We must be authentic in order to foster brand trust and of course, our product must actually benefit our customers in order for them to keep coming back.
(As an aside, Zig also wrote Courtship after Marriage: Romance Can Last a Lifetime. It seems there are crossover qualities in sales and love!)
4. Face your fears
In Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Red Book of Selling, he says,
“You will not get rid of the butterflies, but you can get them flying in formation.”
We all fear rejection, or failure. Avoiding risk, though, is no path to success. Edison tried a thousand times before he successfully built the first light bulb; Michael Jordan missed over 9,000 shots; and Babe Ruth was known as The King of Strikeouts. What these greats have in common is that they were not afraid of failure.
You won’t always be able to help every customer, and you might even get some tough feedback from time to time – or maybe even your whole first year of business. Those companies willing to face challenges – and fix their mistakes – are long-term business material.
FreeAgent CRM is a platform that helps small businesses nurture quality customer relationships. Get set up in less than 20 minutes and start working with a company that believes that CRM means Customer Relationships Matter. Check us out.