By Dick Wooden on September 3, 2013 at 7:30 AM
Relationship development is central to success with CRM.
So you are convinced that relationships are essential to the health of your business or organization, but you aren't sure how to strengthen the relationships you have and build new ones.These steps will give you a place to start.
1. It isn't enough to build relationships if you don't maintain them.
If you are in sales, you know the importance of keeping the connections you create, even if the prospect doesn't buy from you. Not only is it good business to follow up and say thank you after you make the sales, it can be also good business to follow up with those who didn't buy to say "Thank you for considering our offering, and please let me know if I can ever help you in the future.
Remember the only thing worse than not creating a good relationship at all is creating a connection with customers that they can't rely on. Make sure to capture your notes and schedule the next actions in your CRM system very soon after the activity so knowledge is not lost and you have reminders to keep your commitments.
2. It doesn't have to take much time.
It isn't about how much time your spend with those in a professional setting (although that is important) but how quickly and authentically you are able to demonstrate your concern and commitment. When meeting with a contact turn off distractions such as your cell phone and email alerts. Being fully present when engaging with others is effective and doesn't have to take much extra time. It simply involves putting aside any distractions and giving the person you are with your undivided attention.
The test of friendliness is the ability to be pleasant to someone who is being unpleasant to you. Instead of fighting fire with fire, try responding to negativity with positivity. It may not change the other person, but it may keep him or her from changing you.
Share your successful notes and challenges within your CRM system so other people in your organization are prepared for building friendships and more clearly communicating with prospects and customers.
4. Employees rarely treat customers better than their employeer treats them.
Have you had the all too common situation where the manager wants employees to be nice to customers even though the manager isn't nice to them?
Treating employees differently than you expect them to treat customers is shortsighted, if not delusional. You communicate more powerfully with your behavior than you do with your words. Unfortunately, just as good behavior can be paid forward, poor behavior can be passed on as well. Eleanor Roosevelt said, "It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself."
Make it easier by providing the tools for your employees to better keep track and to know the customer interests and challenges. Increased user engagement will increase user adoption , the most critical component in business success with CRM.
5. Nice isn't enough if you're not competent.
If you are about to purchase a new CRM system, your first concern is that your CRM professional advisor and implementer is competent and capable. All the niceness in the world is no substitute if the CRM professional is a hack.
Once the competency expectation is met, a relationship is icing on the cake. The CRM professional is competent and who make the time to take a sincere interest, communicate clearly, and express empathy will have a far larger and more committed CRM client base than one who is merely good at what he or she does. The breakdown of buyer-seller communications and clearly communicated expectations is a common CRM implementation failure.
Relationship is important, but make sure you're offering a good product and good service first.
6. Relationships aren't built in a day.
Many people in the marketplace seem to have a "Relationship ADD" - they expect instant payback from customers, and when they don't get it, they lose interest and abandon the customer altogether.
Loyalty is about building relationships over time and by giving those we interact with our consistent and undivided attention. I have seen many excellent sales people use their CRM system to track personal notes of their key contacts' desires, afflictions, their interests and notes about their family members. With this richness of quality knowledge that is easily assessable they continue to build long term business relationships.
Mark Sanborn wrote a wonderful book, "Fred 2.0, New Ideas on How to Keep Delivering Extraordinary Results" that is a follow up success to his landmark book, "The Fred Factor". This article is inspired by this body of real world, practical ideas for delivering extraordinary results. We highly recommend you incorporate Mark's recommendations in building a more successful business or organization.
Nine years ago, bestselling author and business consultant Mark Sanborn introduced the world to Fred, his postman, who delivered extraordinary service in simple but remarkable ways. Fred’s story inspired millions. Companies—even, cities—were inspired to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary each day.
Today, with stiff competition from the networked global economy, delivering extraordinary results is more important than ever. With Fred 2.0, Mark not only revisits the original Fred to gain new insights, but also equips all of us with new strategies to achieve more. You’ll not only be inspired by Fred 2.0, you’ll also have the tools and strategies to aim higher and achieve the extraordinary.
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Building better relationships takes effort, but it isn't really that complicated. Using an effective CRM system that is available 24 x 7 x 365 engages employees to more quickly connect with prospective and current customers. Putting smiles on many faces....