business.

It's All About Relationships

Think back to a time you made an important purchase.

All things considered equal, did you buy in favor of the sales clerk or representative you felt the strongest connection with?

The success of your business ultimately boils down to the strength of the relationships you have with your clients and customers, business peers, vendors and support staff.

Do you know the lifetime value of your clients? In other words, do they usually buy once a year, once a month and for how long before they no longer need your product or service?

During the course of your relationship with them, how much revenue will you generate?

Say for example the lifetime value of each client is five to ten thousand dollars. Would it make sense to do everything necessary to keep them for that lifetime?

A recent U.S. study confirmed that 68 percent of customers are lost due to perceived indifference. They have little sense of relationship with the seller which translates to a weakened sense of loyalty.

Product price was a distant second accounting for only 14 percent while death, moving, buying from a friend and being sold by a competitor made up the remainder.

Knowing also that it costs significantly more to find a customer than to keep one, would you also agree that having a strong relationship with your ideal customers would lead to referrals of other high quality customers?

The relationships you build with your clients and customers are key to longevity, quality referrals and reduced acquisition costs, but it doesn't end there.

Relationships with members of your business community determine the amount of referrals, exposure, joint ventures and strategic alliances you create. By showing a genuine interest in creating success for others, you will be invited onto committees, into mastermind groups and select memberships.

Word of mouth is a double-edged sword. It can be a powerful business builder or a deadly business crusher and how you relate to your peers determines that outcome.

The same goes for vendors. Showing gratitude and appreciation for their efforts goes a long way in generating exceptional service, timely shipments and their going the extra mile to meet or exceed your expectations.

And whether your support staff is a virtual assistant a thousand miles away, or your retired Aunty Betty next door, the amount of appreciation, acknowledgement and confidence you show in them will translate to pride in their work and commitment to your success.

What are you doing to create strong, long lasting relationships with the people who will either add to or lessen your levels of success?

Mark the words of Maya Angelou, "People will forget what you said and will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel."

Make a commitment to build stronger relationships starting today and your business will be greatly rewarded.

2007 © Laurie Hayes - The HBB Source

Author:.

Laurie Hayes, certified Life & Business Coach and founder of The HBB Source, helps home-based entrepreneurs build successful businesses smarter and easier. Get her free ezine packed with helpful resources at http://www.thehbbsource.com

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