Building strong relationships with clients, partners, and investors are the foundation of any good business. Having the trust and confidence of your supplier, vendors, and customers is vital to keeping a good business going. Delivering a quality product or service and exceeding expectations are elements needed to keep reoccurring business and generate new leads and referrals. But how do you do it? As an entrepreneur, you must always be making new contacts and reach out to more people to grow and expand your business. Having the ability to connect with new people while fostering a relationship of trust and honesty is the first step to building your brand. You have to be out there introducing yourself in person, on the phone, and online. Your clients, suppliers, and vendors are people too; it’s important to keep this in mind and try to relate to them in a genuine way. People are not stupid, and they know when they are being manipulated or conned. Being honest and truthful in all your business matters is vital to customers relations. We’ll detail the necessary steps needed to have follow-up clients to keep your business afloat.
1. Be Honest
Being upfront and straight forward with potential customers and existing ones is critical to growing a relationship. If you first don’t lay down a foundation of trust, you have no grounds to stand on. Don’t lie about your product or service. Give them reasonable expectations instead, and deliver a better product than expected and you’ll find better results. If issues arise let them know up front and inform them right away. Have no secrets, it’s better to keep them in the loop rather than explaining later why something went wrong. Honesty is the best policy, if they trust you they will return and refer you to friends and family which will produce even more clients.
2. Stay Connected
Just like any other relationship, you must communicate. Keeping in touch with your customers and business partners will help nurture the existing bond between you. It doesn’t always have to be about professional work either, try to get to know them and their families. Ask about their hobbies and show interest in their personal lives. Showing your clients that you’re more than a business associate will foster a budding relationship that can lead to more than just the bottom line. Some of my personal business partners have grown into some of my best friends, and we continually stay in contact. Look at them as people and treat them as such and you might just find something more than a customer.
Keeping up with your clients shows that you care. Whether it’s calling them or sending a quick email, let them know that you’re there for them. Shoot them an offer on something you know they’ll be interested in and give them a heads up on upcoming events. Follow through is the most overlooked aspect of business today, it’s more than a hi and bye. Treat your customers like family, and you’ll find that they will repay you with loyalty and shower your business with praise that can lead to more clients.
4. Always Deliver
There is nothing more disappointing than paying for something you didn’t want. Delivering on time and providing value to your customers is your number 1 priority. Without this, all this work will be for nothing. Deliver a quality product on time and do it with consistency. There should be no surprises when it comes to your product or service; this isn’t a casino and your clients shouldn’t be wondering about the outcome. Provide the best possible product, and you’ll stand head and shoulders above your competition. This will separate you from the crowd and give them a reason to keep coming back.
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