Loyal customers? Really?
Just last week I was at a conference at a Business Association to make an intervention on Reinventing Sales in our times.
One of the issues that was raised at the opening of the event was the fact that there are still loyal customers.
You know, those loyal customers, but really loyal ones?
Really, really loyal?
Those that don’t change because your competitors give them discounts?
Those that won’t leave you for less than one euro?
In fact, more and more, nowadays the customer doesn’t really care about the salesperson and the relationship you already have with them.
But do you really have a trust relationship with your customer, one of those where you become more of a “Consultant”, rather than a salesperson?
Who do they call when they have a problem?
Those who know that nothing fails when you’re involved? Those when the customer needed, you have always been there to help them with professionalism and kindness?
Yes, the point is that many times we don’t come very close to this level of trust with our customers.
Many times, we think so, but when we begin to analyze and ask some difficult questions, the reality is completely different.
When working with teams of salespeople, there are a number of questions we like to ask to see the level of perception that salespeople have about this type of relationship with customers.
Well, let’s start by asking:
On an emotional and basic level:
- Do you know what your customer’s birthday is?
- Do you know what their main interests outside the work environment are?
- Do they have a wife and kids?
- And what are their ages?
- Do their eyes shine when they talk about their children?
On a more professional level:
- How long have they been in this company?
- How many people are they in charge of?
- What departments have they worked at?
- What difficulties did they encounter?
- When they talk about their current project, what is their reaction to it? Are they enthusiastic, neutral or bored?
These are just some questions we use to test the knowledge and especially the degree of rapport also referred to as the empathy of the salespeople with their customers.
Before all these questions we start with an even simpler one.
From 1 to 5, what is the level of trust with your customer?
Many of them say 4/5.
When we start questioning all these things, they usually lower to 3 or sometimes even less.
The reality is that creating a lasting relationship with a customer is a lot more than being nice and friendly in meetings held with them.
It’s more of a strategy that sometimes takes years to achieve, and that has to be worked every week of the year.
If you take a look at my Outlook, in the notes section of each customer I have a great deal of information that I have been collecting over time.
As a joke in trainings, we usually say that we must know everything, even the color of our customer’s underpants.
Don’t laugh, sometimes it may be important, you never know.
But now seriously, in all interactions with your customer, try to get to know a little more about them.
And keep this information religiously.
You’ll see that it may come in handy in the future.
I’ll give you a very specific example.
I normally keep the birthday and mobile number of customers with whom I have a closer relationship, in some cases even friendship.
On their birthday I normally wake up early and send them a happy birthday message and wish them a wonderful day full of success.
What do you think the impact will be in the relationship with the customer when the first birthday message of the day is yours?
So don’t forget this in the next business meetings!
Try to know a little more about your customers.
Also published on Medium.