Dialogue 12. Customer Relationships
S: How to maintain customer relations?
T: We have already said that a long-term relationship with a buyer is the link that turns an act of a sale into a sales cycle. You’ve heard a lot why this relationship is beneficial. Now let’s talk how they need to be supported and what efforts it requires from you.
Relations with both the buyer and the gatekeeper must be maintained permanently. To do this, you need to visit them from time to time, demonstrate your genuine interest in how they are doing and what new things they could say about your product.
It is very important to consult with the buyer and the gatekeeper from time to time. Every time you are talking with them give them a chance to show you their experience and knowledge, their suggestions, tips and ideas. Even if you already know what you are asking about, listen carefully and be sure to thank them for new knowledge. This is, to some extent, a manipulation, but it is for good. Give people a chance to show they are smarter than you. Firstly, it wouldn’t kill you, but people enjoy such moments. Secondly, some of their tips could really be useful to you. And thirdly, if they suggest some ideas regarding the use and improvement of your product, they would be very interested in further use of this product. But this is exactly what you need!
Relations should be based on the buyer’s and gatekeeper’s good perception of you, your company and your goods. Sometimes it might be unpleasant to deal with them: dealing with any person, even the closest one, is never even. Take it calmly, with a certain amount of humor and kindness. If you do this, it counts!
However, there is an important “yes, but.” If the buyer or the gatekeeper slipped up once, forgive them. That can happen sometimes. But if they engaged in meanness, it is better to break off relations with them, both personal and business ones. I understand that it’s a shame to lose a buyer, lose sales, but in this case it’s better to lose than to be permanently in suspense wondering what other vileness this person could commit? Life is life, and not everything in it is joyful and blissful.