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Excellent People Skills Means Business Success

Business Relationships

If you are in business, then you ARE in the people business.  No matter what service or product you sell, ultimately this will be sold to people.  It follows that if you know how to have healthy and mutually fulfilling relationships with your client or customers, you will have more success in business.

 

I have been a professional therapist (MFT) for the past 15 years and have seen the awesome effects of learning the skills to create mutually beneficial, healthy relationships.  When each person that is a part of the relationship brings a win-win mentality to the table, all the parties are happier.

For the past 3 years, I have been coaching small business owners (such as nutritionists, therapists, crafters, archery teachers, and software creators) and I have discovered the power of teaching them how to relate to their clients and customers in ways that will attract more business, new business and create a loyal following.

All you have to do is think back to a past negative experience you had with a business.  Perhaps you were trying to purchase something online and they screwed up the order and then they were impossible to reach on the phone.  Or maybe you hired a coach and they were not really hearing your needs and gave you bad advice.  These are only two random examples but I’m sure you’ve had your own experience that sticks out like a sore thumb in your memory.

If you are a business owner, you do not want your own clients or customers to have any such negative experience with you and your business.  There are many ways to build happy, healthy client/customer relationships but I will outline three of them in this particular article.

1.  Connect – think about the point where your potential or existing client/customer will make contact with you.  It may be through a newsletter, a blog, an advertisement, a phone call after being referred by a friend.  When you put out any communication (written, visual or verbal) you must consider it from their point of view.  Are you speaking to their need and/or want?  Are you creating some means for them to communicate with you so you can understand their specific need?  Treat the first telephone call just like an “intake” that a healing professional might perform.

Ask them about their situation and why they contacted you/your business.  Find out about their current “support systems” (anything that is currently helping them with their situation).  Ask about what they have already tried that has not been effective (sometimes this is the most important information as it shows you what to avoid).  Take an interest in their lives, other people (friends, family, clients) that may be affected by their situation.  Have empathy.  Don’t rush in and try to immediately “fix” their situation, rather active listen, empathize and then . . .

2.  Communicate your solutions (services, products, packages) that will benefit their specific situation.  Be clear, be concise – show them you respect their time while making it clear that you would like to help them address their situation.  Let them ask you more questions if need be, then address these questions with simple, integrity-filled answers.  Give them examples of what you would like to do for them (with your products, services, packages . . .).

3.  Be willing to address their fears.  Don’t let any negativity on their part affect your own responses.  Be ready to to empathize with their fears and then explain to them how you can address these issues in a way that will take away as much risk as possible.  Do NOT get defensive about your products, services and packages – this will escalate any negativity and up their concerns.  Do be assertive in a compassionate and gentle way, much like a kind teacher explains a challenging math problem to a child and then encourages the child that they can conquer this problem.

These are just a few pointers to get you started with fine-tuning your business-boosting relationship skills.  There will be more to come . . . but first, I’d like to ask you what specific relationships you need help with in your business?  Do you have employees?  Do you work directly with customers or clients?  Do you have a business partner?  I would be grateful to you if you take a moment to reply (comment) to this blog article with your “people” questions.

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