We’ve all heard them—disastrous relationship stories. From bad first dates to bad breakups, dating is a tenuous world, one that must be navigated carefully and skillfully.
The same is true for business relationships. One misstep with a prospect (perhaps you talked about yourself a little too much), and your chance for a second date goes right out the window.
So what can you do to establish that coveted long-term customer relationship? Keep a few simple guidelines in mind:
- Get to know your prospect. Before you even send your first communication, do some research and narrow in on the personas that look most like your best customers. Based on what you learn about their interests, buying habits, etc., focus in on that special something you bring to the table that is most likely to fulfill what they’re looking for.
- Put your best foot forward. Think of it this way: it takes time to develop a relationship, but you wouldn’t wear sweat pants on your first date, right? Likewise, when you go after a prospect, put on your best suit, and properly woo her. Don’t just throw every product or service you’ve got at your prospect; tailor your offer based on what you know of her needs. The good news is that with today’s technology—like four-color Variable Data Inkjet—you can individualize your offers across the board.
- Remember, it’s all about her (or him), not you. Your company is great, but people aren’t just looking for you to sell them a product anymore: they’re looking for an experience no one else offers, or a solution to a problem. People want to know, “What’s in it for me?” Write with the intention of answering that question—and use the words ‘you’ and ‘your’ early and often. Even better, call her by name.
Now, let me take a second to congratulate you. You’ve successfully navigated your way through your first date, and your prospect has become your customer. Here comes the hardest part: keeping that relationship going. Luckily, I’ve got a bit more advice:
- Listen to what your customers are saying about you, online and offline. Be attentive to their interests and their needs. What could you be doing differently that would make people happier with your service? What are you already doing that people love?
- Don’t just pretend to care—actually care. Be sincere and seek solutions for your customer, because without customers, your company probably wouldn’t exist. Thank them by going out of your way to provide exemplary service and good experiences. Trust me, they will return the love.
There you have it: the secrets to a happy, healthy customer relationship. Yes, it will take some time to build trust and loyalty, but armed with these tips, you’ll be off to a great start.
Who knew dating and business had so much in common?
Judith Maloy, Director and Chief Executive Officer
Polaris Direct is a full-service lettershop and printing company specializing in high-volume direct mail processing for Fortune 500 companies and direct marketing agencies. We integrate innovative resources and patented technologies into marketing campaigns, and we take a consultative approach to partnering with our clients for maximum ROI.