Life is all about relationships, right? In our personal lives we put high value on the people who we're closest to -- our spouses or life partners, children, extended family and close friends.
So, are we looking at our professional relationships we have with our clients, suppliers, vendors and prospects in the same way?
Cultivating and nurturing relationships takes time and requires give and take along with mutual understanding. In order for all relationships to flourish, you need to approach the process of business growth and development by seeking out and maintaining key relationships with individuals you want provide a service to or sell a product to.
Many of the small business owners I work with have challenges finding their ideal client and then pricing their product or service offerings. Pricing can be determined by recognizing your production and human resource costs while earning a fair profit in order to stay in business and serve your clientele. Ultimately, you need to fish where the fish are in order to find your preferred clientele. In other words -- read what they read, speak where they attend, network at their industry trade shows and conferences.
I'm a firm believer in creating win-win-win scenarios for the people I serve. I want to offer a quality service at a fair price that will have five times the value to my clients as what I'm charging. If they're happy, I'm happy. Often times in my nearly three decades of being in business, I've worked with large organizations who target small business owners as clients. Their objective in hiring my firm is to have a third-party endorser of their products and services -- because I represent their primary customer base. In that situation, keeping their customer's happy is a key priority. It's a win-win-win situation when the client's objectives are being served.
Here are some tips on creating those win-win-win relationships with your prospects and clients.
• Ask your clients what their endgame is. What do they want to accomplish? What would feel like a success to them?
• Who do they serve and what's important to their ideal customer?
• How do they envision your services helping them to reach or exceed their goals?
• Where have they had great success in the past?
• Are they committed to continuing to implement what's worked in the past, and open to testing new ways of communicating and servicing their clients?
In asking these questions, you create a climate of open communication and position yourself as a valued resource that is truly interested in their success.
People -- including your prospects and customers -- want to know that you care. Show them you have an interest greater than the money they are exchanging for the service you're delivering. It's about how you can positively impact their business, their customers and their lives.
It's the holiday season, which is an ideal time to reflect on what value you're giving all of your relationships. When you focus on how your clients or prospects are impacted by the services you provide, you offer a greater understanding of the connection you have with your key relationships -- in business and in life.