- Interaction at the point of sale is one of the most important factors in customer relationship building. Often it can be the single determining factor in a customer’s decision on whether or not to continue to do business with a company. Understanding the basis of the relationship with the customer is paramount to long term success. Sales earned through relationships will stimulate future sales whereas relationships based on sales begin and end with the sales process. The foundation of customer relationships is predicated on understanding the customer’s focus and striving to interact within the scope of their perspective. Cultivating that relationship will earn current and future sales.
When focusing on relationships as the foundation from which sales are generated employing a consultative approach will ensure success. Customers engage service providers in order to benefit from their expertise. Offering expert advice is the most effective method of selling through relationships. People like to learn and they generally don’t understand vehicle repair and maintenance at the level of an expert. When an expert conveys information like this in a simplified way the customer recognizes a value beyond having their vehicle maintained. Advising the customer and assisting them in the decision making process will result in a higher level of trust and a stronger relationship. Helping the customer manage expenditures on vehicle maintenance promotes a long term relationship. A focus on sales may or may not result in current and future business. A focus on relationship building may result in lower current sales but the possibility of future sales is increased significantly.
Customer relationship building should be ongoing. Focusing on the relationship and viewing sales as a byproduct is the key to long term success. The primary components of successful relationships are listening, understanding and advising. The focus should be on the customer unless they express interest in some aspect of the business. The service provider’s role is to understand the customer’s concerns and help them get those concerns addressed. When the customer sees the relationship as positive and beneficial the relationship will last and sales will come.