Sales relationships – Is your customer in love with you?

Person in khakis holding hands with person in polka dot trousers.

You’re in love with your customer but is your customer in love with you? It’s a big and important question, and here I’m going to help you answer it.

So, first thing’s first. Ask yourself, are you in love with your customer? Hell yes -you want and need your customer, but are you truly in love? Do you go that extra mile, give them added value, make them feel appreciated, respect them. And when they talk do you listen?

I’m not over the top here – of course, you’ve got a business to run. A business with many customers. What I’m asking is, do you provide the level of service to individual customers that you would like to get in return from them?  A level of service that is memorable. That has the wow factor?

In short, do you offer the level of service that makes your customer fall in love with you?

Three negative business patterns you’ll want to avoid

Perhaps the best way to answer the reciprocal love question is to look at negative patterns of business that you’ll want to avoid.

It’s so easy in the day-to-day running of your business, to overlook these – or more accurately, fall into their trap. So take a few minutes and see whether you identify with these patterns or not.

1. Create, don’t firefight

Most companies I observe have a reactive method of customer management. When something goes wrong, they fix it. Take for example buying flowers for your better half. When your better half asks for flowers, and you buy them, you know it’s already too late. Firefighting is hard, energy sapping work. It’s also counterproductive.  When you’re in firefighting /damage limitation mode, you’re not in creative mode.

2. Sell ethically, with integrity

Are you over-promising and underdelivering? Do you or your sales team over-gild the lily to close that sale? If you mismanage sales at the beginning of your relationship, everything else will turn sour pretty quickly. All relationships succeed through good, honest communication.  Get this right, and your business will grow. Get it wrong, and your business will wither and die.

3. Gain clarity – know the terrain you’re actually in

Often business owners – entrepreneurs like you – are driven and don’t particularly like people getting in the way. A certain amount of single-mindedness is a good thing.  Too much can do serious collateral damage to your business. Think of this. Do you ask for feedback? Do you do customer surveys, staff surveys? Do you ask what people would like to see and change and adapt to meet those needs? Or do you just plough straight on with the way you want to do things?

It’s time to get smitten by the love bug

Avoiding the traps, listening to your customer, providing the service you promise – these and other steps mentioned above will get your customer loving you. And not only that but it’ll encourage your customer to be a walking promoter of your business.  And that’s gold dust.

To finish, I always remember what I was told by an old trader some 20 years ago:

“Doug, no one talks well about someone they don’t think about or like. You have to love something about someone to go out of your way to promote them – and that’s what you’ve got to give your customers. Something to love.”