Building Relationships While Achieving Objectives
Some of my best clients hire me on an advisor basis, so I can advise them on dealing with the surprises that come daily in running a business. I was having such an advisory call with a client who was in the process of having a customer call-a-thon. She’d gathered a mix of board members and staff, who were calling customers to ask them to renew their season subscription to the theatre company. “It’s going really well. The people we’re connecting with are really happy to talk to us” she said. “And we just got an email receipt from someone who renewed, and we haven’t even called the guy yet! We’ll make sure to take him off the list, though.”
“Why take him off the list?” I asked. “If you were going to call him to ask him to renew, now call him and thank him. Tell him what it means to you. To your mission. It’s a chance to connect person-to-person. Go for it!”
She agreed, added his name back to the list, and called him. She told me later that the customer was delighted that she called just to thank him, without wanting anything else.
That’s relationship building in action.
To often, we get into a what I call a “check-off mentality,” where we think only about what we can get from the customer. When we get it, we take the person “off the list” and move on. That’s the wrong approach. You’re here to strengthen relationships. And real relationships are strengthened when you give — when you display the effort without any expectation of return.
This week’s mission:
It’s likely you are in the process of asking your customers for something: to purchase something, donate, volunteer, etc. Some have done it, and some haven’t. For this week’s mission, I’d like you to look at how you are connecting with them. Make contact with both the haves and the have-nots. Show that you are making the effort. Use the touch point to make them feel loved, regardless of the objective you’re trying to accomplish.
Have a great week.