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Relations, Not Numbers

Sell, sell, sell. It’s time to stop selling and start building. Businesses were too long in the habit of selling that they forgot to forge a deep, meaningful and productive relation with their clients and consumers. Perhaps it was the pressure to meet targets at the end of the month or quarter that led to the sell mentality. YoY, QoQ, HoH and MoM seems to have gained precedence over relationship building.

Building relationships is the difference between being just another company and being a brand. Relationships develops loyalty. Take the example of ecommerce sites. How many of us would buy a product from a site that is not known or has just started operation? People will generally buy from a place that has build a relation with them. New businesses need not get dejected with this statement, but they too need to focus on building relationships. Loyalty also ensures that minor lapses are ignored by the customer base, because they have the confidence that their issues will get resolved.

Besides loyalty, relationship builds an image. Businesses cannot evoke an emotion by being just an entity. Building relations helps customers relate to the business. For example, bringing a human face (or even an animation used for ads) can help the consumer relate to the business. However, building image through relations should not be the sole responsibility of the sales team or customer support. Every employee of the business, who interacts with anyone professionally, should try build a relation because they represent the company and everyone is a potential customer.

Relationships bring in more customers through word of mouth and recommendations. Service whether good or bad, is always passed on. So, when the service is good it will benefit through word of mouth marketing, the best and free mode of marketing. And when word of mouth is from any relative or friend, the source is trusted. This is why building a good relationship with every customer becomes imperative. And this is also one of the reasons why businesses enter into strategic tie ups and partnerships with other business, to tap the goodwill of partner business.

Building relationships with consumers is good, but developing a healthy relationship inside the business is also vital. By building strong relationships within the organization, the employee morale is boosted which in turns improve the work culture and gives rise to a sense of belonging. A positive work culture will attract talent and thereby boost the brand image as well.

And lastly, one should not shun away from building a relationship with the competitor as well. This might be a controversial point, but many businesses are doing this. Competitors should not be thought of as arch nemesis, but as treasured resources that teaches more about the market. The dissemination of information between competitors will help businesses formulate better strategies. And even if the relationship is not good, businesses should refrain from casting aspersions on the competitors. Doing so, exhibits integrity.

So, going forward, the focus should be on people and relations rather than numbers in a report.

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