The Number One Secret to Profitable Customer Relations

Successful business owners train their salespeople to develop a foundation of strong customer relationships. Why? As with every other purchase decision, individuals prefer to do business with people they like, with people who seem genuinely interested in them, and with people who really care about their concerns. So unless salespeople are willing to appropriately start and then nurture the customer relationship, customers won’t return and they certainly will not refer their friends.

Some company leaders attempt to educate their sales force about customer relations by using buzzwords such as “Total Quality Management,” “customer satisfaction index,” “zero defects,” “client service,” etc. But what does all this really mean to salespeople? After all, many of the veteran salespeople made it through the ’80s and ’90s without all the commotion about quality and service. So why all the fuss now? Is this just another fad, some passing fancy that will come and go like Hula-Hoops, disco dancing, or designer jeans? Hardly. A fundamental change is taking place in customer service, and the salespeople who realize this and change with it will be the people who will be successful in 2007 and beyond.

Relationships = Sales

Profitable customer/salesperson relationships are built upon a solid foundation of mutual respect and understanding. And the greater the intended outcome, the deeper and stronger that foundation must be. In fact, the limits of accomplishment, productivity, and satisfaction within an organization are all a function of the nature and quality of the relationships the salespeople have developed with the organization’s customers.

Truly successful salespeople know the importance of strong foundations for customer relationships. However, during the ’90s, when the economy was rockin’ and rollin’, many companies and salespeople were able to build successful businesses without this fundamental component. The tide has turned though, and purchasers of both goods and services can now afford to be much more selective in their choice of supplier. That’s why today’s salespeople must recognize and appreciate the fact that they must build rich, quality relationships with their customers and must orient their companies and their approaches around assuring outstanding customer service.