Connecting with People, Establishing Rapport, and Helping Solve their Problems
The Friendship Factor
In today’s customer-driven economy, corporations must move from product-based campaign marketing to a customer-focused personalized approach. People want to feel important and they want to know that you have expertise with their life or work issue. The more you demonstrate your specific understanding of their problems, concerns and aspirations, the more quickly they’ll buy from you, often without really understanding what you are selling.
When you sell high in customer organizations the close rates are higher, and sales cycles are shorter. Besides, there are no “surprise” decision makers at the point of close.
Modern Customer-based Relationship Approach
“Anyone who views a sale as a transaction is going to be toast down the line. Selling is not about peddling a product. It’s about wrapping that product in a service – and selling both the product and the service as an experience. This approach to selling helps create a vital element in the process: a relationship,” says Marilyn Carlson, CEO Carlson Companies
Customer relationship management is the management of customer communication over a relationship continuum. It includes relationship strategy and multi-channel relationship programs that produce both business value and customer experiences on a scale not seen in traditional marketing.
Customer-focused approach helps corporations overcome the following challenges that inhibit their growth:
Traditional advertising is more expensive and less effective due to increasing media fragmentation
Direct marketing is not an effective relationship building approach, as it merely directs wave after wave of product campaigns at fatigued customers
Product proliferation means a significant increase in competition vying for customer attention and crowding mass and direct marketing channels.4
Building Relationships – Your Key Business Skills
A relationship is two people eliciting responses from each other. If you want a change in response, then you must change your own actions.
As a business professional, you should ask yourself: “What business am I in?”. The answer is quite simple: if your business has anything to do with people – and ALL businesses do – you are in the business of building relationships. “Some people think that if they sell things, they are in the business of selling. They aren’t. They are in the business of building relationships.