Simply put, business is people interacting with people. Whether you work as an independent contractor or as one of thousands of employees in a large corporation, your ability to do business requires interaction with others. As blogger Liz Strauss puts it, “Business is relationships and relationships are everyone’s business.”
In some ways, every person we interact with—employees, bosses, vendors, partners, shareholders, family, friends—is a customer. Today and tomorrow, Promotional Consultant Today examines seven keys to building loyal lasting relationships that are interactional, not transactional.
Transactional business, according to Strauss, is time-consuming and costly as you have to continuously remind your customer to come back, or they’ll go to another vendor with a better offer. A relationship, however, is a game changer. You’re establishing context that shows people how you fit into their lives. Invest in people and they’re more likely to invest back.
Below are three keys to building loyal, lasting customer relationships:
- Listen when people talk. We respond to generosity and compassion.
- Talk in your authentic voice. Let your values speak for you. You’ll attract people who share them.
- Tell your own truth. Tell the best true story about you—the one that gets customers to see that you’re like them.
People make relationships with people, not with businesses. Think about your connections with employees, customers and vendors. Are you focused on the relationship or on the transaction?
Need more relationship advice? Look for PCT in your inbox tomorrow.
Source: Liz Strauss is a social web strategist and community builder with a background in publishing, business, and instructional design. She works with businesses, universities, and individuals to help them understand how text, words and images work in the culture of the social web. She is also a founder of the highly successful business event—SOBCon — which has gained the partnership of companies such as Citrix—GotoMeeting, GMC, Intuit, Glam Media, IZEA, ReveNews, Walmart, Colgate, Allstate, and Klondike Frozen Treats, as well as the attention of BusinessWeek, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the Innovation Initiative of the Kellogg School of Business.