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Author: Calvin Dorman
12 - 05 - 2013

When you engage and collaborate with people -  you both grow!

What I have learnt
from my experience over the years as a consultant / small business entrepreneur can be summed up in the following statement:  You have to build a relationship with your clients and you have to form partnerships where there is mutual benefit for both. 
The key word here is:  collaboration.

I would say it is similar to a cocktail party because you have to mingle and sell yourself and your business offer and build context with potential long-term clients.  Depending on advertising with price-cut specials is not going to be aso effective anymore.  You have to build a lasting relationship with your top five clients at least to ensure continual success.

Question:  Is it not true that most of a company’s sales come from repeat business and word-of-mouth?
  Not only do you have to be professional, but you have to get to know clients on a personal level as far as possible.  This builds trust and secures business for the long run which will carry you in the down cycle periods.

I have found this to be true especially in small business.  Entrepreneurs have to guard their reputations and build client relationships.  They have to outdo their larger competitors when it comes to customer service and customer satisfaction.
Once you have mastered the ability to get repeat business from existing clients whether it is through loyalty cards or aftersales service, or extended business opening hours – only then can you afford to focus marketing efforts on new promotions and new sales drives.

Here’s my motto for small entrepreneurs:  Don’t go searching for new clients/sales if you haven’t made sure that your current clients are 100% satisfied with your offer and service. 

Don’t chase money, but make is your goal to deliver  service beyond your clients expectations.  In the long run, you will be well rewarded as your clients will realize that you truly care.

So you see, gentle reader,  the focus has to be on building a relationship with your clients:  it is a must for long term survival. 

I find that there is still far too many companies today that have the attitude “Our product are so good, customers will buy, there is no need to be friendly or engage with customers”. 
Unfortunately these companies think they only have to solve problems once they happen.  Instead, you should be so close to your clients that you are able to prevent problems even before they arise.

Next  time you go shopping, be aware of the shop owner or sales person willing to strike up a small conversation purely to be friendly and helpful. We are not machines who have to be spammed with price-cuts and sales offers that shouts ”buy me now! “. All I want is small talk that reflects a friendly assistant who wants to be helpul because he/she truly cares that I make the best purchase.

Once you have learned and mastered the art of client collaboration for mutual business benefits, you will truly experience wealth beyond your wildest dreams. 

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