July 29, 2012

Appreciation Marketing – Business Relationships


This past week I had several conversations in which we discussed business relationships.  Business relationships include our customers or clients, our prospects, our family members, our friends, and anyone with whom we come in contact during each and every day.  That sounds like quite a long list, and it should be.  Think of everyone with whom you meet, see, and speak each day.  Those are your business relationships, chances for you to impress and influence others, sometimes for the good and sometimes for the bad.  That is up to you.

We need to include everyone as business relationships.  We never know who we may meet today in passing that we might meet again in the future in totally different context.  You never know if the person whom you may meet today may be in a networking meeting tomorrow or at a company that you want to solicit as a prospect in the future.  As people change companies, either by choice or by circumstance, you find yourself with prospects in different situations from which you originally met them in the past.

Previously, we discussed that you should never prejudge anyone.  That means that we should consider everyone as a business relationship, no matter what their present situation is, because that situation may change.  The customer of today in one situation may be the prospect of tomorrow in an entirely different situation.  The failed presentation today may be the accomplished sale tomorrow in a different circumstance.  Therefore, we must consider our impressions at all times, not only in the present but for the future.

Do you come away from every presentation with a completed sale?  What do you do when you fail to make a sale?  Your mode of operation must be consistent and impressive in all cases.  All cases mean all cases.  It does not mean that you treat customers or clients different from prospects.  It means that you treat everyone the same, even if they never will be your customer.  Does never really mean never?  Does the failed presentation today mean that the prospect will never buy from you in the future?

Even if they don’t become your customer in the future, perhaps they can be your best referral source.  I look for a great referral source in every situation.  To me a referral source may be much more important than a client.  They trust you to treat everyone that they refer to you as a valuable asset.  You need to show them every time that they refer anyone to you that you are worthy of their confidence.  Never fail to live up to their faith in you because you are affecting their reputation to all of those referrals.  Of course the great client should also be a great referral source.

Business relationships may include your family and your friends.  Do these people know what your business is?  Would you want your neighbor to tell you about the great opportunity that they just discovered when it is the same as the one your business has?  Missed another possible sale there, did you?  Kick yourself all the way home because you never mentioned what you do.  How many of those do you want in your past?  That will dampen your mood.

Do you realize that what you do today may affect your success tomorrow?  Do you know that the person you insult today might be the targeted decision maker that you want to impress in the future?  Everyone knows many people; all of them should know someone with whom you want to do business.  Your impressions can be your best advertising or your worst nightmare.  Your comments about your experiences are welcome here, or you can email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.  Does your past haunt or help you?

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