Are you an educator when you engage in sales? When is having fewer customers a good thing?
Paul Jarvis argues that it’s vital for a single-person company to foster strong connections with its customers. Since these companies aren’t receiving money from investors, they depend on customer relationships to sustain and grow their business.
Here’s Jarvis’s advice on how to build strong customer relationships.
Tip #1: Be an Educator
When you’re looking for prospective customers, Jarvis suggests playing the role of educator as a sales strategy. Teach people about your product or service, including how to use it so it best serves them.
Being an educator requires transparency, clearly demonstrating the strengths of your product or service. When you can show your product’s unique strengths, you’ll stand out against competitors.
Additionally, by acting as an educator for your product or service, you show customers that you’re the expert in your field, which builds trust. You’re the first person who comes to mind when they need whatever type of product or service you’re offering, and they’re more likely to buy from you. To teach about your product or service, you might use social media, teach classes that show people how it works, and so on.
Toni Okamoto, founder of the website Plant-Based on a Budget, knows how to build strong customer relationships through education. She teaches people how to eat a healthy and affordable plant-based diet. Her website has hundreds of free recipes, she posts regularly about plant-based cooking on social media, she speaks about it on podcasts, and she offers a newsletter with recipes and tips.
Anyone can use these resources to learn about her methods and ideas. However, they also act as a sales pitch for her business, through which she sells meal plans and cookbooks and participates in speaking engagements. By giving her knowledge away freely and showing customers how they can be successful with her services, she builds trust and expertise. If people like her content, the free education entices them to invest in her brand further by purchasing her products.
Tip #2: Prioritize Quality Over Quantity
Jarvis argues that a single-person company should prioritize creating high-quality, long-term relationships with customers rather than concentrating on acquiring a greater quantity of customers. This means focusing on providing the best quality service and products possible for each person you serve.
Jarvis argues that focusing on serving existing customers will help you maintain consistent revenue as loyal customers keep coming back. Owning a single-person company allows you to maintain strong, personal, and long-lasting relationships with customers because its small size means you have the time and capacity to focus on each individual’s needs.
Additionally, loyal customers become a cost-free part of your marketing strategy. If they’re satisfied with your services or products, they’ll likely recommend your company to their friends and family, which generates new business, money, and slow, sustainable growth.
(Shortform note: Some experts argue that customers referring their friends and family to you is the highest sign of loyalty. They’re taking a risk by recommending your product or service—if their recommendation turns out to be bad, it could affect their reputation or relationships. To justify that risk, they have to feel strongly about your company’s quality.)
|How to Create Lasting Relationships With Clients|
Like any other long-term relationship, relationships with customers and clients take work, thoughtfulness, and effective communication. To aid your efforts in building strong, long-lasting customer connections, consider the following tips from experts in client relationships.
Tip #1: Be consistent, timely, and efficient with your communication. Your customers and clients need to know that their projects and concerns are important to you.
Tip #2: Maintain a positive attitude. For your clients to feel confident in your ability to meet their expectations and goals, you must display confidence and enthusiasm. Even if you’re stressed, your customers and clients don’t need to see it.
Tip #3: Be open about your opinions and perspective on the progress of projects you’re helping your customers with. Don’t just tell your customers and clients what you think they want to hear. They need to know that you know what you’re talking about, and you can only show that by being honest. If you withhold your true thoughts, they may lose trust and decide to work with someone else.