To sell successfully today, you need to build a love affair between your brand and its customers, because in this era, customers expect more from their brands.
To really build a love affair between a brand and its audience, we need to think about perception. How the world (or everyone linked to a company), feels about a brand. Companies can't hide anymore. Or they can hide a lot less than they used to. With social media platforms, the customer can make or break a company's reputation.
Nurture all relationships, with customers, employees and everyone in between and make sure you put the people first. All the people. Like this:
- Deliver on your promises – if you say its going to be delivered on Friday, make sure it is
- Go over and above with customer service – empathise with the customer
- Be kind to your employees behind the scenes – remember they have Twitter accounts
Some tactics for building your love affair
- Respond to bad reviews promptly
- We live in a world where our interactions are time stamped and everyone reads negative reviews. Reply quickly and with compassion. Your credibility will show new customers that if the worst happens, you're still there for them.
- Get (real) reviews and testimonials
- A business with only 5 star reviews can seem too good to be true. Ask for real reviews and embrace any negativity. Your responses are what customers are interested in, not a couple of below par ratings.
- Share case studies
- Potential customers want to see that you have relevant experience in their field. Share the problem you worked on, the solution you came up with and the benefit to your client. If you have metrics to share, then all the better.
- Don't over promise – be honest
- If you say it's going to be completed by the end of the month, then it needs to be. If future prospects are seeing you say 'sorry' a lot, it'll seem like you can't be trusted. Once a brand's credibility wanes, you have to work really hard to get it back.
Be kind and empathetic. Listen and build trust; with your customers, employees, suppliers and stakeholders. They'll fall in love with you forever (or for a long time).