Relationships, A Key To Success
Since I started in this business in the 1988 I’ve heard countless attributes which managers credit to their success. Some credit their product line, others, their business location a few even give us admen credit. Product line, location and advertising are all vital assets, but don’t overlook the importance of the relationships you build along the way with customers, suppliers, and employees.
In business terms, it’s called social capital. Developing relationships based on trust, understanding, and empathy are crucial to success. Your business transforms from being just another company, to being a brand and business people know and trust.
For years, advertisers have known the importance of developing positive relationships with clients and customers and have created friendly, identifiable “spokespeople.” Talking candies (M&M’s), an eloquent gecko (Geico), and a cartoon dog (Snoopy for Met Life) are just some examples. These characters transform a faceless corporate entity into a business one associates with warmth, trust and even humor. These positive emotions provide the beginnings of beautiful relationships. I particularly love the adage “Seeing is believing, but feeling is truth.” To me, that sums up what real advertising is about.
Our hope is that your customers become your friends. Know them, remember them, and enjoy your time with them. Work hard at making a visit to your business a positive experience, one that customers want to repeat and one that gives them the confidence to send their friends to. Strong relationships bring us not only repeat business, but also recommendations and word of mouth advertising. Your reputation grows and your brand is known.
Of course, we don’t always get it right. When we disappoint customers, work quickly to alleviate their concerns. With attentive listening and prompt problem solving even difficult situations can become positive experiences.
Relationships with your employees are also important for success. Treating everyone with respect, providing opportunities for training and growth, applauding success, and having fun are all key.
We are all in business to make money, and strong relationships help us do that. Just as important is the personal fulfillment that comes from all these positive interactions. It is a great thing to enjoy coming to work and to be excited about the encounters you will have. When you, your employees, and your customers all feel good about your business, that’s when the magic happens.
Relationships are the key to success. Make it a point to build strong ones every day.
– Steve Swan