All business is about people. While we sometimes get sidetracked and think it’s about the work we do, the products we sell and the service we provide, we need to remember that it’s really about the people we work with ... clients, employees and suppliers.
When you step back and look at the big picture, you will see someone else selling windows and siding, someone else doing remodels and building new homes, someone else who works with the same suppliers and can provide the same products and services. What sets you apart? What can you do to build relationships with prospective clients? What can you do to ensure that your employees are treating people well and building those same relationships? Are you committed to helping your suppliers succeed?
- Exceed Expectations - Answer questions and provide information and assistance beyond what they expect. Exceeding expectations is the first and best way to build relationships.
- Be Available - No, they may not be ready to start the project, but return their calls anyway. Build on these early calls and develop a connection that will make you the first call when they are ready to move forward.
- Show Respect - Respect their time and their budget. Don’t try to upsell if it isn’t in the client’s best interest. When a more expensive product will better serve them, explain why and how and help them to make the decision.
- Empower Your Employees - Let them make decisions and stand behind them. At the end of the day, if you’d like something done differently, discuss it and move on. They will represent you better if you give them the authority to make decisions.
- Partner with Your Suppliers - Discuss options and issues. Talk about ways their products and services can be better utilized and how you can partner to work with your clients in a way that leaves no doubt that you are all working on their behalf.
When you read this list, you’ll see that it doesn’t mention selling your product and service. Don’t sell. Let your relationships make the sale. Build a network of trust and respect and move forward. At the end of the day, it’s all about people.