Not every company has a national field salesforce and inside sales reps. But every organization has customers. And, of course, the way businesses engage with and build relationships with those customers has changed in the last year. We know that from our consulting, strategic planning, executive coaching and behavioral assessment clients. It also goes for companies in Cincinnati, Ohio, Kentucky, Jacksonville, Florida or anywhere in America. So, let’s take a fresh look at building customer relationships in 2021.
Back before Covid, salespeople and business executives called on customers. Reps drove cars to the account’s headquarters and met with the decision makers face-to-face in a boardroom. They shook hands, talked about market dynamics and discussed orders. Afterward, they spoke on the phone and exchanged emails.
Ah, the good old days.
The virus changed all that. But it didn’t change the fundamental need to maintain and grow customer relationships.
As more people get vaccinated, new opportunities are emerging. One thing is for sure: most folks are ready to do something else besides hop on another Zoom call. But until the pandemic is truly behind us, we can’t go back to business as usual.
Today, we still have to wear masks and socially distance when indoors. And even if you are vaccine-reluctant, be aware that most Americans believe vaccines save lives. Since the goal of improving customer relationships in 2021 is to actually improve them, you won’t help your cause by antagonizing buyers.
Start by finding the answer to this basic question: what does your contact really like to do? Then go do it.
Put the emphasis on anything outside the four walls of the client’s building. Better yet: meet outdoors.
At the most basic level, sit outside at a coffee shop with your client for an hour. Or take them to lunch or dinner at their favorite restaurant and sit outside, if possible. Play golf, go for a hike or go fishing. You’ll strengthen and build the relationship. And connect with your client as you do what they really want to do.
We’ve been helping our customers do what they like to do for many years. And what they really like to do is grow their businesses. Their success has, in turn, fueled our growth in executive coaching, strategic planning, business consulting and behavioral assessments. So please give us a call if you are in Cincinnati, Ohio, Kentucky, Jacksonville, Florida or anywhere in America. Let’s go for a walk and discuss customer relationships in 2021 and how we can help you achieve your objectives.