Getting to know each of your top customers on a personal level may seem like a daunting task at first, but we’ve put together a few key reasons why it’s actually very good for business. Don’t know where to start? That’s OK, here are some tips and tricks to get you started.
A little insight can go a long way
Taking time to learn about your customers’ interests and hobbies will actually make your job easier. Knowing what motivates them allows you to make connections that help you build stronger relationships, faster. This newly acquired insight will prove valuable in giving you additional topics to discuss on sales calls and visits, even generating new reasons to make contact.
As your conversations begin to take on a more friendly tone, it will be easier to overcome objections as you may receive more than a hard “NO” when pushing for a sale…the friendlier things are, the more “lowdown” you’ll get. The better the relationship, the easier you’ll find it to turn roadblocks into opportunities.
Do your homework
The first step and most direct is to simply talk to your customers. Ask questions. Use conversation starters like, “Do you have any interesting plans for the weekend?” or “Are you doing anything now that the weather is getting nicer?”. Many people will show no hesitation sharing things they find interesting and will jump at the chance to discuss a topic other than business.
Want to do some research before having the first conversation? In this digital age, it has never been easier to find out basic information about your customers online. You can use social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to find out how people enjoy spending their time outside of work. Take notice of the pictures they post and share as well as the groups they may have joined. Through careful analysis you can begin to infer how that person enjoys spending their time off the clock.
Do you make sales visits? Keep your eyes open and take notice of hints in their office or on their desk, or even the type of vehicle they drive. A coffee mug with a team logo may indicate an interest in a certain sport while their car may have a bicycle rack on the back. Always be on the lookout for interesting things to use in upcoming conversations.
Taking advantage of this knowledge
Consistent communication is important to building B2B relationships. Once you know your customer on a personal level, you’ll be able to have higher quality conversations without relying on the same old, tired sales pitches you’ve used time and again.
You can also incorporate their interests into your marketing outreach. Send them something related to their interests or hobbies. These personal, seemingly better “thought out” items will be remembered more then a typical branded promotional item.
Most companies want to keep their customers around, which means long relationships and many conversations. By getting to knowing your customers, you’re better equipped to keep the relationships alive and the sales coming in.