The one thing I really like is when customers call us direct here in the office. Not only do you get more of a feel for your customers needs it makes it so much more personal than sending emails back and forth.
Yesterday I had a new customer who was referred to us and is part of a community theatre group. He needed a couple of items that were discontinued but we happened to have access to.
After getting the initial order taken care of he had several questions on other products. This is the part I really like because the discussion quickly turned to not only sharing information on other products we carry that could possibly suit their needs but also a very cool conversation on technical theatre.
The back and forth banter we had about technical stage was amazing and gave you the feel of two old friends who got together one day just to talk shop. By the end of our long conversation not only did I have a new customer but more important I made a new friend.
I find that one of the most important things when building customer relations is to treat every customer as an individual and find common interests that you both have, This not only helps you know more about your customer but in the long run but it also helps open the door for that customer to likely refer you to other potential clients. And if it does not get you more clients then so be it, you can still go to sleep at night knowing you took care of that one customer in the best way possible.
Another thing is don’t be fake. If you feel the need to bull@#$% your way to make a quick sale get the hell out of the business and move on to selling used cars on craigslist.
Take the time to follow up with your customers after the sale. Don’t make it just a one time thing. Send them an occasional email or give them a phone call to see how the product is working for them or just to see how they are doing. I personally like to do my follow ups just before hunting season with my local clients just incase they have a new hot spot they would like to share. With my out of state customers I like to let them know I am going to be in their area so I can invite them to dinner or lunch. And I would hope that they would do the same if they came to the Kansas City area.
Listen to the so called Old Timers who own a business. And ask a lot of questions. My dad always told me that there is no stupid question in life as long as you learn something from it and it helps you build common sense to get you thru life as unscathed as possible.
If you make a mistake by all means own up to it. A customer will respect you even more if you admit to screwing up and work to fix the problem.
Take pride in your work. Think of every install as a showcase for other potential customers.
NETWORK NETWORK NETWORK You may find that some of your customers have a production business that has products that could potentially be used in your business. Thus opening the door to carry new product lines.
RESPECT it works both ways. It is earned and not given. Treat everyone how you want to be treated.