Extending your address book is essential when you are an entrepreneur. But in the business world, quality is often more important than quantity. Once a commercial relationship has been established (with a partner, a client, a potential employee, etc.), it is essential to maintain it, maintain it, and even improve it.
Organize To Maintain A Good Business Relationship.
At first, everything is a question of organization.
Maintaining your business relationships with your customers and employees can be time-consuming: you must devote time to them. This is why it requires precise organization. You must distribute your time well between prospecting, building loyalty, following up on customers, and after-sales service – without forgetting other tasks unrelated to your commercial relations.
Remember that the relationships to be maintained are multiple. Indeed, maintaining your relationships with your customers is essential to continue selling and developing your network. However, pay attention to your working relationship to benefit your customer relationship. Maintaining a good relationship with your employees, suppliers, and other partners is equally important. Having good cohesion within your work team will also make things easier in terms of commercial relations.
Your business relationships include physical relationships (individuals you see that you rub shoulders with in person) and digital relationships (individuals you may never have met but are part of your online customers or your remote employees).
So that’s our first advice: manage your time correctly, don’t neglect certain stages of professional relationships for the benefit of others, or neglect sure of your relationships for the benefit of others. Always make sure you are available and responsive to your customers and partners.
By Which Means To Get In Touch With Its Customers And Collaborators?
To maintain good business relations, it is essential to communicate. You communicate with your customers and with your partners. However, there are many different means of communication. What means of communication should be favoured, and in what circumstances?
VISIT YOUR BUSINESS RELATIONS
The primary means of communication between humans remains this: discussion. To maintain a relationship, whatever it is, it is always well seen to pay a visit. Business relationships are no exception.
This method can concern relations with good customers or up-and-coming prospects and relations with collaborators.
Of course, the commercial visit has a large number of disadvantages:
- The commercial visit takes time and requires organization;
- The sales visit costs money: you have to either do it yourself or send a paid salesperson;
- The commercial visit is only sometimes a very appropriate means of communication and only applies to certain situations. If it is not suitable, it risks constituting a diplomatic misstep in your commercial relations.
The commercial visit is only suitable in some instances, which sometimes even require it:
- To show appreciation and respect for your most loyal customers, you have to make sure that the visit is profitable. Only go to see the customers who bring you a significant turnover;
- To demonstrate the use of a product that is complicated to use;
- To convince prospects with high potential, who could bring you big sales if you manage to convert them;
- Show your continued interest in a collaborator, especially if you are still in the business relationship consolidation phase.
CALL YOUR BUSINESS CONTACTS
The significant advantage of the telephone is that it is less expensive than the visit and takes less time. A phone call can sometimes have the same effect as a visit and much less inconvenience.
This is the most popular mode of communication in the prospecting phase.
Even if the telephone is a mode of communication known to all, you must know how to use it. Salespeople who do prospecting by phone must be trained. In addition, the ideal is for the relationship between the salesperson and the prospect/customer to be monitored. If the customer is always in contact with the same salesperson, and the latter remembers him and his file, the relationship will not only be better.
Once the prospect has been converted into a customer, the salesperson in charge of prospecting can continue to follow up with the customer. This will also enhance the effectiveness of loyalty.
The telephone, although less direct than the visit, remains the most practical means of communication while retaining a part of authenticity. The customer hears the salesperson’s voice: it is, therefore, not a question of a completely disembodied means of communication, like email, for example.
COMMUNICATE WITH BUSINESS RELATIONS VIA SOCIAL NETWORKS
Of course, in the 21st century, it is only possible to talk about commercial relations by going through the social networks box. Companies must find a way to avoid social networks in their communication strategy. This also applies to business relations.
There are many social networks, and these are more or less suitable depending on the utility you want to give them. For example, the LinkedIn network is specially designed to connect professionals who can mutually benefit each other. The main advantage is that it targets contacts interested in specific profiles.
Other networks, like Facebook or Instagram, are more public. They can have an advantage when it comes to making themselves known to as many people as possible or even maintaining a community of customers. On Instagram, you can exist daily through the “stories” feature and share with your followers the underside of your business, for example. Through your publications, you can share your news, tips, reductions, and events around your company with your community. Why not organize a contest and offer benefits to the winner?
What is certain is that at all levels of your commercial relations, there is a suitable social network.
WRITE LETTERS TO MAINTAIN BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS
We must distinguish between paper and electronic mail, but we will discuss both here.
Of course, the paper mail method is getting lost and also losing its effectiveness as online means of communication grow in popularity. But in some situations, it can still with its small effect.
On the other hand, electronic mail is a means of communication whose effectiveness should be maintained. This is, for example, the mode of communication that you will choose to send newsletters to your customers.
Tip: when you have a new client, have them fill out an information form and ask them to fill in their email address. Then put it on the mailing list for your circular. Send regularly (once a week, once a month…) a newsletter containing all the latest news from your company to keep in touch.
On the other hand, email is not a suitable means of communication for most commercial exchanges: it is not a marketing tool. It can be helpful for occasional communication because it is a more professional digital means of communication than social networks and less restrictive than the telephone.
Between these four means of communication, it’s up to you to see which one suits you best and under what circumstances!
If communication and organization are the keys to maintaining good business relations, you can look into more diversified methods. Here are some tips to help you maintain good business relationships with your customers and employees.
5 Tips For Retaining Your Customers
Set up a good loyalty program.
Please don’t neglect your company’s loyalty program: your customers should feel rewarded. Set up a points system with a gift or a discount, for example!
Create a close relationship with your customers.
Social networks are the key to this advice: be close to your customers, show them the “human” side of your business and involve them in your daily life. This will allow you to gain their affection and loyalty.
Vary your communication methods.
To satisfy your customers, renew your communication methods!
Organize promotional operations
Show your customers that you are thinking of them by allowing them to access your services at reduced prices from time to time.
Take care of your after-sales service.
Offering good services also means accepting that perfection does not exist. If your customers aren’t happy or can’t use their products correctly, you need to listen to them and give them the help they need!
5 Tips For Retaining Your Employees
ESTABLISH GOOD COMMUNICATION
Communication is the key to all healthy relationships… This commonplace is valid in love, friendship, and work! It is essential to know how to communicate between colleagues and collaborators. Lack of communication can lead to awkward situations or heavy atmospheres…
ESTABLISH A PLEASANT WORKING ATMOSPHERE
To retain an employee or a partner, the latter must enjoy coming to work or interacting with you.
Take care of the working environment of your employees. This is, of course, valid for the employees who work directly with you (take care of the offices, listen to their needs). But it is also valid for the collaborators with whom you often work remotely: put them in confidence and make your communication pleasant.
TAKE CARE OF TEAM COHESION
In the case of teams that work together daily, consider setting up routines or “team building” events to strengthen the bonds between colleagues.
It is also possible to strengthen team cohesion with occasional or regular collaborators who do not share your workspace daily. Think, for example, of the seminars organized or other events, which can be an opportunity to get to know each other.
INVOLVE YOUR EMPLOYEES IN DECISION-MAKING
Give importance to your collaborators by making them feel that their opinion interests you. Ask them to participate, especially when making important decisions that affect them.
REWARD YOUR EMPLOYEES
Reward your employees for their loyalty. Of course, you can’t
As apply with your employees a loyalty system as with your customers. On the other hand, you can offer them benefits in kind or social benefits: equipment for more comfort at work, a company vehicle, or even good mutual insurance and gift vouchers.
Any business relationship begins with contact between human beings. It is essential to remember this when you want to manage your commercial relations with your customers or employees properly!