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Events Are What Make Our Lives Memorable

Spontaneous Socializing. I just completed another full weekend of working on the house, which means really one thing: I listened to about... [Gary Stein]

One of the biggest challenges I face in developing business relationships is turning what I do daily into an tangible events. See, people remember events. Take a moment to think back to your first big contract, maybe when your business was small. What were you feeling, what were your fears.

I'm sure it was easy for you to imagine that the event (a package of information around a point in time), but if I asked you describe last Friday in the same detail, most people would have trouble.

Events are what make our lives memorable.

Focus customers on an event, then frame yourself inside that experience as you build a relationship. From that point forward, anchor your customer on the positive natures of the event, while bringing them forward to reach other aspects of their objectives.

Over time you are chaining together a series of positive events that can be easily associated with your company, people, and even your abilities.

Not being as simple as it looks, this means instead of engaging customers in a selling interaction, you should create an event that serves their needs. Simple events are opening a new branch, a success or setback, or anniversary. Events are framed as something to look forward to, or marked by a specific period of time.

Some events that engage customers and build stronger relationships:

  1. Yearly account profitability audit. Determine your profitability with a particular customer account while better understanding your value to the customer. Invite customers to share your value to them, focusing on the benefits they have received and where they want to go from this point.
  2. Bi-weekly project status reviews. Share with customers where the project stands, any accomplishments since last review, and how you handled issues they have brought up in the past. Focus on highlighting the advances in the project over just providing status.
  3. Quarterly customer satisfaction survey. Do you really know how satisfied your customer is? This event gives you the opportunity to get referrals and testimonials, while helping customers to reaffirm your value to them (and correct any mistakes you've made over the period.)
  4. Semi-annual staff peer review. It's very important to business relationships for employees to know where they stand and what they need to do to advance. A clear path of growth can be outlined at a review, plus feedback from peer members can help build team objectives.
  5. Large purchase anniversary. Celebrate the birth dates of large investment hardware, consumer companies do this with cars and homes, consider sending a birthday card to heavy equipment or custom software solution. Your objective is to present the customers interaction as more than a purchase, but the adoption of a piece of your company.
  6. First contact anniversary. Remember the first time a profitable customer came to your door, or you to theirs. Celebrate the event with a card or personal note. Remind the customer (or employee) how important it was to your organization, even highlight some of the major accomplishments since that first contact.

Unfortunately we turn these 'events' into routine, this completely takes any value out of them. Try to keep each of these infrequent activities interesting and something you customer or employee looks forward to participating. The event itself should be neutral in nature, actual attributes given to the event are based on the desired outcome. Each event should have clear objectives (wins) for each party involved.

/ applying-strategy | strategic-relations /

By Justin Hitt at July 28, 2003 7:10 PM  Subscribe in a reader


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