Business Relationships: Succeeding with a Personal Touch

The overwhelming rise of technology in sales and customer service can leave clients feeling disconnected from your business. In keeping up with the demands of customer care, it is critical that you are personable with your clients in order to show them that your business is not just about computer-generated transactions. A successful business relationship depends on quality interactions.

Success in Communication

People want to conduct business with a person, not a company. With the inherent convenience of online ordering and processing, it’s possible a client and salesperson will never actually speak to each other. The basic mechanics of a business need to be process-based to ensure consistent performance and accuracy. This, however, does not mean that human communication ceases to exist. Clients don’t want to just be part of “the system.” You, in hopes of building a long-term relationship, should strive for a better connection to not only benefit your clients’ needs but, also, your integrity in service.

To add a personal touch, call or email your clients on a regular basis to see if they are satisfied with the process. Even if “the system” is processing the sales information, make sure they understand how that process works; let them know they shouldn’t hesitate to contact you if they need assistance. Always try to provide examples and answer questions even before they are asked. Clients should feel comfortable asking you when they are uncertain about the fine details. You want your clients to know that you are concerned about their satisfaction, as well their continued business. Positive relationships are built on respect and mutual concern.

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Professionalism and the Personal Touch

People like to do business with people they like. If you build a business based on personal service, don’t be surprised when you earn customers you genuinely like. Your clients, hopefully, feel the same way about you. Building a dynamic, comfortable relationship is essential, and it can include fun. It’s important that you can delineate between the business and the personal in these situations. Of course, in many instances, friends can conduct business successfully, and sales/customer relationships can develop into friendships.

The IRS does have stated rules about entertainment expenses. Likewise, most companies will have their own in-house expectations. The bottom line is to make sure that if you spend business money, it’s on a valid business expense. You should keep records of business lunches or dinners and note what the business goals were of those meetings. You can be personable and professional.

Frank conversations about cost and service show your clients that you are honest and value their time and loyalty. These qualities help to alleviate any stress due to clients considering other possibilities. By displaying the effectiveness of your business processes and staff, as well as your personal integrity and concern, you show your clients you are clearly the best choice.

Your Company Culture

If you are in a leadership position within your company, you should encourage this personal, friendly approach through your demeanor with your team and any activities you plan for them. One of the simplest things you can do around your team is smile and be cordial. Your team is much more likely to connect with customers if they feel they are in a positive environment themselves. Remember that a positive approach can be contagious.

Unfortunately, so can negativity. If you or one of your team members is stuck in a negative rut, finds ways to counteract that effectively, or simply take a vacation day so that everyone can return on a positive page for future business. Fellow team members and clients pick up on negative signals quickly. By building a comfortable workspace that includes fun learning activities and family events, you can help instill healthy, positive attitudes.

Successful businesses are based on successful personal interactions. Even with rapidly evolving technology that makes business more efficient and streamlined, it’s crucial that the human element is not lost. Effective communication and connections are based on genuine and honest business relationships.

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