By Naveed Ilyas Saya, Sales & Negotiation Specialist – Learning Minds
Relationship management is the cornerstone to establishing any successful business. Be it, customers or teammates, one must manage their relations to lead the stakeholders towards a single objective.
After spending more than a decade of learning the subject, training and consulting thousands of clients, I have created an exclusive 5C framework™ which can surely guide you on how to transform relationships.
Let’s review the Relationship S.E.C.R.E.T.S which will help you establish stronger relationships.
S- Start off with building trust and credibility
Your relationship with your customer is like any other relationship; based on trust. Consumers these days are so well informed that you need to display empathy and knowledge about their current predicament. This way your clients will trust you and open up to you. Trust based relationships need time therefore never try to rush them. Once you deal with consistency and honesty trust will establish over time. Remember to always be yourself, as you cannot maintain the facade for a long duration.
E- Engage and treat customers the way you want to be treated
‘Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you’. This phrase and concept is as classic as it can get, yet it is a seemingly forgotten business ethic. You must treat your partners the way you would want to be treated if you were in their position.
C – Customers are people
Never treat your customers like a means to an end or just another number in your sales log. You must make them feel special; do something personalized within your service to make them always come back to you and make your relationship with them memorable. This often costs no money but just some thoughtfulness.
R – Regular and Relevant communication
Effective communication can be categorized as the single most important pillar of relationship management. Your communication needs to be regular for better understanding and growing business but it must not be irrelevant or annoying for customer. Time, place and mode of communication are equally important.
E – Every customer is NOT equal
Pareto principle dictates that 80 percent of your sales come from 20 percent of your clients and while the numbers might differ for each industry, the concept can be applied to all. Make special rules for your regular clients to make them feel more valued. Loyalty cards, extra discounts and birthday gifts are all tried and tested methods to retain regular clients and also gain new ones through positive word of mouth.
T – Time Sensitivity
Always respect your clients and your own time. Schedule meetings to avoid unnecessary wait and annoyance. Value small talk but also evaluate when you’re engaging in unnecessary conversation that is wasting the clients time. These are small ways of telling your clients that you matter to them.
S – Surprise by delivering more than promised
To create customer delight, you should under promise and over deliver. It is not necessary to always show your customer what expectations you have set for yourself. Set clear expectations of what can be delivered but always try to over deliver.
Register yourself or your organization to unveil the S.E.C.R.E.T.S of Relationship Management using the time tested 5C Framework™ and achieve your goals faster with the help your stakeholders.