Sunday, March 21, 2010
Three R's of Success - Relationships
Relationships, Referrals and Reputation.
How are you doing in each of these areas? What's that you say? You don't have any responsibility in these areas? Wrong Kemosabe! As agents of the companies we all represent, everyone is obligated to be an ambassador of their organization.
This is the first part of a three-part series. Let's take a look at our relationships.
Relationships can be with your customers, neighbors, suppliers, fellow employees or management. Did I forget anybody? In our business (retail) our relationship with our customers is at the forefront of our operations every day. Recently, my best customer came into the store. And by best, I'm referring to the customer that spent the most money in my store over the last year. She was shocked to hear that she was our number. I believe she was only thinking about the money she has spent in a year's time to qualify for this distinction.
Where would we be if we had another customer that spent as much as she has? How about 5 more? or 10 more? Why not treat every customer as if they were your best?
Some tips on how to do that:
1. Don't call them customers. I know I have used the word six times prior to this sentence. Instead, call them guests. A guest usually holds a place of honor. A customer is most often symbolized as a dollar sign.
2. Call your guests by name. We now have technology that makes it easier to do this. It may take time but if you welcome your guests at the door with a personal greeting (i.e. their name) your relationship has just been reinforced!
3. Take a personal interest in your guest. Learn about their family, their job or their hobbies. Keep a diary if you must. Some people can keep all that info in their head. Others need to write it down.
If you have ever shopped at Nordstrom or know anyone that has worked there, you might be familiar with the relationship that Nordstrom employees establish with their guests. If you are not, you are missing out on a gem in the retail world. A wonderful book I highly recommend is The Nordstrom Way. It is worth every penny.