Winning Accounts vs. Winning Relationships with Yanique Grant – Episode 047
Thank you, thank you, thank you so much – this episode is very special episode for me. It is very near and dear to my heart! Approximately one (1) year ago, I started this podcast – Navigating the Customer Experience and one year later – we are at over 5,000 downloads, being listened to in over 70 countries worldwide with 46 episodes and counting. I am so happy to know that this podcast has really done so well that we have persons listening to us from all different parts of the world in over 70 countries worldwide – that is just amazing! We focus primarily on Customer Experience, Leadership, Business Development, How to Win the Customers, Service Recovery, Social Media Customer Care. We have touched on so many topics in the last twelve (12) months and it has just been a wonderful experience and to know that I am here today to proudly report to you that we are being listened to again in over 70 countries by over 5,000 people is just a really proud moment for me! I really wanted to express my deepest gratitude to all our listeners out there and even those future listeners who will be hearing this episode when it is aired.
Today I would like to focus on Winning Accounts vs. Winning Relationships – Winning an account is a great accomplishment and is usually celebrated by the boss and the team as this means more business and more money. Just as any other accomplishment achieved requires maintenance and consistency so does maintaining a consistent relationship with that account holder.
Every business works extremely hard to acquire new customers. In order to acquire the business, your first step would be to make initial contact with the customer either through email, phone or face to face. After initial contact you now have the customer’s attention, they may purchase your service or product based on their needs.
Let’s take a look at a few examples:
Scenario 1 – a newly opened print supplies business opens and they contact you to tell you about their products and services and also how competitive their prices are. You advise them that you already have someone that supplies you with toners and stationery for your office and you decline their offer. They call back one month later and remind you of their services and products because they would really like to stay front and centre in your mind in order to “win your account.” Six months pass and every month they call you to share the same information. One day they even show up at your office with sample products and a free giveaway bag. After one year of courting you – you eventually start purchasing items from them. However, the difference in behaviour is they no longer call and check up to see if you need supplies and months pass sometimes before you even remember that they still exist.
Scenario 2 – an automotive company has sales representatives who prospect at different events and one day while attending a business luncheon you were approached by one and you were intrigued by the cars they sold and also the features and benefits of these vehicles. The sales representative calls you weekly as they know you really want to change your vehicle. They contact the bank and have the relationship manager at the bank call you, they also contact the insurance company and arrange for everything. Over 6 months have passed and you have encountered other automotive sales representatives but the original one that you met stands out in your mind as they always followed up no matter what. Therefore, when you were ready to make the purchase – you automatically called the representative who contacted you consistently. You finally receive your new vehicle and the representative called you a day after the delivery of your car and also a week after. However, one year has passed and you have never heard back from that representative.
In all the above scenarios – we must recognize that winning the customers’ account is very important, however, building strong relationships is much more important. Customers do not want to be treated as transactions instead they would like to be treated as people. All customers want value added services.
My challenge to you is think of your business offering and look at how you can offer value-added service to your customers…..
Statistics have shown that people don’t remember what you did but they do remember how you made them feel. How do your customers feel after doing business with you – are your customers your biggest fans? Do they speak highly of your company? Do your team members feel proud to work at your company? When they wear their branded shirts with your company logo and go in public areas do they feel proud to represent your brand and company?
If the answer to any of these questions is NO! Your company specifically your leaders need to look at why the team may feel this way and also why the customers feel this way because as we stated before human beings usually remember how you made them feel!
Tips for Building Relationships
- Give back to your existing and loyal customers even if you are a monopoly. Customers like to know they are saving money or they are getting value like a free item or service for a month such coupons and complimentary gift certificates.
- Use the information in your customer records such as birthday, anniversary, upgrades or specials in relation to a previous purchase a customer made.
- Courtesy calls for customers just to see how their business is doing and also how they are doing as people. This can be scheduled such as every 6 months.
- Do business with the companies that do business with you. We should all support each other especially the people who support you. This will allow you to get to know your customers on another level as well.
- Be human. This last tip is quite simple but if not applied can damage your business. A company is not made up of equipment, machinery, products etc. but people are the ones responsible for how your employees feel and how your customers feel! Be connected in your words and actions, be deliberate when working with your team and customers and make sure you show compassion in your interactions because “People won’t show you how much they care, until you show them how much you care.”