Do you realize that when a prospect signs on the dotted line and give you that handshake, it is a start of a partnership? Maybe a little lopsided but it is still a very important partnership. The sale doesn’t end there, you see it through to completion and most times there is an after sales service.
Understand that this is a two way street. This new partnership has paid you and you have to maintain it after. Just like a relationship with anyone, it needs some foundation to work. Some are a little more extensive than others, depending on the nature of the business and who are your clients.
The success of any partnership or relationship for that matter boils down to this foundation. Therefore, I have identified some crucial pointers on what must go in the foundation.
- Same Page Mentality
Both client and you have to be on the same page on reasons why they chose you in the first place and how would your product or service benefits them. With this established, it will guide you and your client to deliver what is required, individually. After all, assumption is the mother all screw ups. So, it is important to set this right from the beginning and if all goes well, this will define the direction your partnership will take.
Your client must be able to trust you fully. Besides, you have earned that trust. If not, they won’t have bought from you at all. Now you have to maintain the trust by doing what you say you will do, when you say you will do it. You should be the first in their mind when a problem arises because they trust you and genuinely believe that you are committed to helping them. There has to be a sense of support in this partnership. Trust me, you will likely to get more repeat business and referrals from them when you are the best they have.
According to Wikipedia, “Empathy is the capacity to recognize emotions that are being experienced by another sentient or fictional being”. It helps you resonate with their situation and it makes you part of the team. This is the key difference when servicing an existing client. They want someone on their team, who understands and they can depend on. Dependability is crucial. I read somewhere “knowledge is power but empathy is strength” and I couldn’t agree more.
I hope this will help you form a better foundation with all your clients. Remember, you have already sold them once. It is no longer just about the closing, it is about sustaining that relationship.