This quote from Patricia Fipp is one of Robin’s favorites. Sales are exciting, but Robin’s true passion is building relationships, and here at Flourish & Thrive we believe it’s relationships that will make all the difference in your business.
In today’s podcast, we’ll be going over how to take a relationship-oriented approach to sales, even for the most non-salesy designers out there!
#1 Get to Know Your Customers (and Potential New Customers!)
The first step in our relationship-oriented approach to sales is to actually start relationships with your clients. Whether you sell exclusively to stores or direct to consumer, getting to know your clients is the #1 best thing you can do for your business long-term.
Is there a client of yours who has made a couple orders but you still haven’t really talked to? Make a phone call! Don’t know what to talk about when meeting others at networking events and trade shows? We always start with the weather, complimenting her outfit, or just saying a simple “hi”!
#2 Find a Point of Connection
Maybe something you have in common, like where you grew up or what kind of dog you have, or maybe it’s a shared interest. Whatever it is, finding a point of connection can make your relationship feel more like a conversation and less like a transaction. From talking with your clients to writing your copy to responding to customer service emails, let every conversation you have with your clients be one with a welcoming common ground.
#3 Keep Track of Details (CRM)
After you’ve started relationships with all your clients, you may find your head is in a state of information overload. You shouldn’t have to rely on only your memory to speak intelligently and meaningfully with every single one of your clients – it’s too much for one brain!
We strongly recommend using a customer relationship management system, whether it’s specialized software or your very own excel spreadsheet, to keep all their details in one place. It may sound silly, but clients will truly appreciate that you remembered an important anniversary or event in their lives, and they won’t forget it!
#4 Be Thoughtful (and Sincere)
Over the years, snail mail has grown to be something reserved for special occasions. Sending a handwritten note or a special gift in acknowledgement of birthdays, store anniversaries, or simply thank-you’s for their orders can go a long, long way. Even when you send out a regular old order, include a note or a chocolate treat to brighten their day!
#5 Communicate / Don’t Make Assumptions
Never assume anything about your customers. This is one of the biggest mistake we see in businesses of all sizes: they assume they know what their customers think, without ever asking them.
Talk to your customers directly and regularly ask them what their needs, wants, and desires are! Whether you ask through a survey or a simple conversation, don’t make the mistake of working in a vacuum!
We cover these five steps and more all in today’s podcast, so don’t forget to check it out above!
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