I Don't Have The Time To Build Relationships

Posted by David Chism | Thu, Sep 16, 2010

 I Don't Have The Time To Build Relationships
Cycles, waves, sea­sons, trends — every­thing comes and goes. Our world is a chang­ing place, the busi­ness world is no excep­tion: just when we think we´ve got it fig­ured out, some­thing big changes! As con­trac­tors, we enjoyed a decade of pros­per­i­ty when sales were plen­ty, and sales­man were like tick­et sell­ers for the World Series — just smile at the cus­tomers and take their orders! Then there was 2008, and things changed. With con­trac­tors strug­gling to land even the small­est jobs, sales and mar­ket­ing took on a whole new look. Those who are mak­ing it through these lean years are those who are build­ing and nur­tur­ing rela­tion­ships with clients, con­nect­ing and engag­ing. Some mar­keters are call­ing this the Thank You Econ­o­my”, or the Word of Mouth Econ­o­my”, where busi­ness­es need to show clients their grat­i­tude and com­mit­ment in order to keep them com­ing back and telling their friends. Now, while news head­lines can´t seem to make up their minds about whether the econ­o­my is recov­er­ing or not, it seems from my recent con­ver­sa­tions with sales­man that things are look­ing up. They have spent the last two years learn­ing to prospect and build good con­tacts, and in the last few months they have been reward­ed with many bids and sales. Things are look­ing encour­ag­ing, even if we´re not feel­ing quite con­fi­dent enough to take out the loan on that yacht! I want to pro­vide a sim­ple warn­ing, how­ev­er, to busi­ness own­ers and sales staff: don´t for­get the past two years of strug­gles. Build­ing rela­tion­ships is the key to your suc­cess. Don´t say you don´t have time. We all know that you make time for what´s impor­tant. If you don´t make time for exer­cise, the pounds just keep adding up. If you don´t take time away from work, that vaca­tion will nev­er hap­pen. If you don´t make time to work on rela­tion­ships, they fall apart. So stop and send a thank you note. Take a client out for cof­fee. Stop by a home just to say hi, and see if they´re still hap­py with your work. Remem­ber what´s impor­tant to them. The sales­man who bud­gets the time to build long-term client rela­tion­ships will spend less time chas­ing after dead-end leads. Instead, one-time sales will become repeat cus­tomers, and cared-for cus­tomers will tell their friends. Peo­ple want to be cared for — that is one thing that will nev­er go out of sea­son or out of style… it is one econ­o­my that will nev­er crash! Decide each day to invest in gen­uine, car­ing cus­tomer rela­tions as one of the key ele­ments of your sales and mar­ket­ing plan, and watch your busi­ness grow!

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


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