Why Relationships Are So Important Now
When we hit times like these - an economic rollercoaster, a pandemic, uncertainty - we want to keep our businesses in the best shape we can. And we want find that "magic bullet" that will help us get and keep clients. But do you know the very best thing you can do? Build relationships. And that means with EVERYONE! Here are the most important relationships you want to work on:
OF COURSE this is the most important category! Your clients are GOLD - they are the ones that really will help you find your next client. No matter what marketing strategy you create, word-of-mouth is still the #1 way that most designers find their new prospects. Your clients need to get the very best customer service that you can provide, with gifts, constant check-ins, great communication, and trust. You also want to meet every deadline and keep a strict eye on that budget - they'll really thank you for that. The best thing you can have a client say about you at the end of a job is that they consider you an important part of their lives - that you really GOT them. But here's what you can't forget - you have to CONTINUE that relationship! It isn't over when the project is complete! You've got to check in with them occasionally, see how they're doing, and ask if they need anything from you. Those check-ins with former clients keep the relationship going - AND they can often lead to new work and new clients. That's critical in days like these.
I know you have a lot on your plate, but you've got to work on your relationships in your community - it's really important! Whether it's social or civic groups, community organizations, sitting on a board of directors, or attending charity events (once we can do that again!), you have got to network. Building relationships in the community help you not only to get new clients, but you also can learn about future building projects in the area, or learn a new marketing idea, or maybe even an opportunity for your business that you would never have known about otherwise. Plus, it's good practice for your elevator speech!
Wow, there is no better time than right now to be sure your vendor relationships are solid. It's a tough time for so many manufacturers and suppliers, too, so you really want to understand how their business is doing and how it will impact YOUR business and your clients. You also want a really clear picture of how shipments are being processed and delivered, because almost everyone is experiencing delays. Even orders from the behemoth Amazon are usually behind, so it's probably going to impact your orders, too. Having a strong relationship with your customer service rep and your sales rep is going to keep you informed of anything that could impact your project and your clients. You may not be able to change it, but you can definitely show your client that you're on top of what's happening with their orders!
Building relationships with architects, contractors, builders, and realtors in your area is a critical move. You want to meet with as many industry people as you can, to learn how you can help them, what they're working on, and what they might need. It isn't that you go to them with your hand out! Instead you want to network with them and build relationships that can possibly help you in the future. You NEVER know where a great new relationship can lead your business!
Reach out to everyone you can and keep those relationships going. Not only is it good business, it's also great to reconnect with people if you've been stuck at home for the last few months.
To help you schedule your communications and make sure you are on top of those relationships, download my FREE Relationship Building Schedule here! It will keep you on top of the most important relationships of all!