Business is built on relationships.
From a small, family business to the largest corporations, people do business with the people they like. Building and maintaining these personal relationships are critical to the success of any organization.
It’s easy to build a relationship with a local business who is in your area. You can meet for lunch or networking events, and you start your relationship already having several things in common. But how do you build the same level of a relationship with an organization with a national footprint.
The answer is simple, but the execution and maintenance of this relationship takes some serious work. I’ll breakdown how Dominion Voice and Data has built and maintained several relationships with national organizations in the Senior Living industry.
1. Start with the basics
Every relationship takes effort. It takes you putting yourself out there to meet with the people you want to work with. Driving to meet them in their place of business, taking them out to lunch to learn about their interest outside of work. The key thing to remember – Be Present.
You can not build a relationship with someone simply through email, or phone calls, or social media. These are great tools to get an introduction, but you must find a way to convert the digital relationship into a real-world interaction.
Start simple with this. Offer to take them out for coffee or lunch. Invite them to an event or tradeshow in their area related to their industry. Maybe even find what their hobby is and suggest that activity. The key is to meet in-person.
This first real-world meeting will be what the rest of your professional relationship will build upon, and it is the first step for Dominion Voice and Data in working with a new client.
The Dominion Voice and Data team will go to any location in the country to have an initial real-world interaction. It’s true, we could easily do a conference call, video chat, or send them a welcome video, but these methods will never replace the value of an in-person interaction.
Once you have this initial meeting, your next task is to simply listen. Listen to their needs, their vision, their goals, and their strengths. Building a relationship isn’t about you and your organization, but about your clients.
And they are going to like talking about themselves. These decision makers love their job, and really enjoy talking about how they are impacting their industry.
While we are listening, the team from Dominion Voice and Data begins to look at the world through the eyes of the customer. With our national accounts, we listen to the issues they have modernizing all their facilities with outdated cabling, or how do they begin a migration to the cloud for all their users. Or perhaps they can’t even begin to wrap their mind around converting all their carrier services from traditional POTs lines to SIP trunks.
Once your new relationship starts to really open up about their fears and struggles, then you are ready for the next step
3. Hold their hand
The biggest thing you can provide a friend in need is comfort and peace of mind. Especially business owners who have a lot on their plate. By focusing on helping their specific needs instead of just trying to sell a certain product, these decision makers are more receptive to your recommendations.
Also, critical during this phase is to be honest with yourself and with your client. Don’t be afraid to recommend solutions from a competitor if you can’t meet their needs in certain areas, and never try to hammer the square peg through the round hole. Instead, be a consultant for their needs. Find them different options and present them in a professional manner.
We do this providing a detailed list of the issues we are working to resolve, then setting a date for us to get back to them with a list of possible solutions. By setting the date, we begin the process to helping our client, which gives them peace of mind knowing that things are finally in the process of getting better.
4. Professional Proposals
When it comes time to make your recommendations, you are finally ready and clear to being selling your products. No doubt about it, this is a sales pitch for your specific services and solutions.
Be professional, be clear, and be respective of their time. Layout where the relationship started, list the current pain points you are working to resolve, and then present your solutions and clearly explain how they will address their specific needs.
Dominion Voice and Data is able to offer a wide range of services and solutions specifically geared towards the Senior Living industry on a national scale. During these proposal sessions, we not only show off our solutions, but also show off our capabilities. We are a company with national influence and capabilities. We can go anywhere they want to expand, and meet their needs at every step.
This is critical to us winning and keeping business. We position ourselves as their single resource for all their IT needs.
5. Execute, Execute, Execute
Now the real fun and work begins. At this point, we have taken our professional relationship and turned it into a true business relationship. Our client has trusted us with executing their selected services, and execution is key to maintaining the relationship for years to come.
Our dedicated team is available 24/7/365. We project manage the entire process, and proactively update our clients on progress, success, failures and how we resolved them.
Our project management team can handle multiple projects, at multiple sites, for multiple customers. We are busy, but our clients would never notice. By being proactive in our outreach and updates, they have continued peace of mind and no longer worry about their IT.
6. Keep listening
This is the final step to maintaining your relationship. Always keep listening. Your client will always be growing, changing, or adapting. With each new challenge they face comes additional areas where you can assist.
Again, you need to be present, and have interactions in person. And these don’t always need to be business related. Continue to take them out to lunch, or treat them and their teams to an enjoyable night out. Remember, these are people you are helping, not just a transaction.
If you partner with Dominion Voice and Data, you are partnering with a trusted and reputable company that will be there whenever you need us. We value all our customers, and take our commitment to them seriously. We’re always looking to add to our family, let us know how we can help.