Your dream client can tell whether or not you really care about them or whether you are just trying to make a sale. They can hear whether or not you care in the words you use. They can see it in the actions that you take—or fail to take.
In world driven by commoditization, globalization, and disintermediation, the pressure to believe and behave as if all business relationships are transactional can be overwhelming. Those who care deeply about their clients and their relationships are going to be differentiated, trusted, and welcomed as strategic partners.
There is no substitute for caring.
In Word and Deed
You can allow marketing to do your lead generation and send emails and links to white papers on your behalf. But if you want to prove that you care about your dream client, you will send an email yourself, including a personal note letting them know that you were thinking about them.
You can make a deal with those with formal power in your dream client’s company. But if you want the people you are going to be working with and serving to know you care, the end user stakeholders, you will spend time understanding their needs and making sure your solutions works for them. You show you care by spending time with the people who have no power to give you the deal. You tell them that their needs are important to you.
When things go south and you and your dream client are faced with a nasty, awful, relationship-challenging issues, you meet with your client face-to-face to resolve the issue. You say: “I want you to know that your relationship is important to me, and we will find a way to work through this together.”
You can’t pay lip service to caring. You have to prove it in both your words and your deeds.
Say It Proud
Recently, a salesperson challenged me about the language choice I made when speaking with one of my clients. I sent them something and said: “I saw this and I was thinking about you.” She thought it sounded “too personal.” That’s because it was personal. Business is personal. People choose to do business with other people, and they want to work with people that they can trust, people they know care about them.
If you want to win and retain your dream clients, prove that you are about them in both your words and your deeds.
When you make a major purchase, how important is it that the salesperson cares about you and the outcomes you are trying to achieve?
How do you know that someone cares about you?
Does caring engender trust?
Do you treat important client relationships as if they are simply transactional?
How do you move your business relationships beyond transactional?