Once you have chosen a follow-up strategy to help you build relationships with your customers, you can start reaching out.
To engage customers in an on-going dialogue, you need to incorporate opportunities to ensure those customers are interested in maintaining the connection you have worked so hard to cultivate.
Here are a few things for you to consider moving forward:
Actually listen to what the customer is saying.
Of course you do your research and find out as much as possible about the customer, but that does not mean you understand their needs. Never assume, ask them! Find out their pain points and truly listen to the answers. When you actually hear what the customer is saying, you can absorb the information and learn how to best make an approach that benefits them. Be sure not to be pushy and potentially damage your relationships.
Establish your authenticity.
Harvard Business Review published a great article back in 2013 which explains, “Authenticity is actually a relational behaviour, not a self-centered one. Meaning that to be truly authentic, you must not only be comfortable with yourself, but must also comfortably connect with others.” Having a credible reputation of being authentic in your connections helps customers to determine whether or not they feel comfortable doing business with you.
Schedule the next time to chat and stick to it!
Plan for another meeting or phone call, leave a voicemail and tell the person when you will try calling again, or at the end of an email say that you will reach out later in the week to follow-up. Showing persistence in your communication and the ability to follow through on your word expresses your value to the customer and shows how serious you are about your relationship with them. This builds trust between you and the customer, and trust is essential for customers to support your brand.
Get back to them A.S.A.P.
Be sure to respond as quickly as possible to any questions or requests customers may have. These people are being inundated with calls and emails from other businesses trying to sell to them, so swiftly returning calls or sending over the files you promised helps you to establish a foundation for your communication. You have to give a little to get a little. The more responsive you are; the more likely people are to be responsive with you.
Remember to say “Thank You!”
Remember that saying, ‘a little thanks goes a long way’? Well, it’s true, especially in business! Time is money, and the people you are seeking to talk to are busy and likely have a long list of priorities. The success of your business depends on the relationships you build with your customers. Therefore, showing a little gratitude for the time people are willing to commit to you is essential in helping you to retain those relationships.
Of course, no process for connecting is 100% guaranteed. You have to commit your time, resources, and patience into being effective when making connections.
If you are willing to make the commitment to listen, be transparent, be trustworthy, respond quickly, and be gracious, your customers will see the value in maintaining a connection with you.
And that’s the whole point, no?