Love is in the air this time of year, but we should show appreciation to those we care about all year round!
Relationships are the foundation of success. This is why it’s important to nurture the best relationships possible with those who matter most to your business: your prospects and customers. To effectively do this, you need to stop selling and start serving. Ask what your customer or prospect needs and wants, and see how you can make their dreams come true.
Last year, we shared 25 tips on winning the hearts of your customers. In order to help you make the most of every opportunity, we rounded up even more tips for building better relationships with your customers and prospects from ten trailblazing business experts.
Make Them the Hero of Their Story
“Too often, business builders try to impress their prospects with credentials, information, and stories of prior heroics. They promise to swoop in and save the day. If there’s any interest in learning more about the prospect, it is with the explicit contingency ‘so that I can show you how our solutions solve your problems.’
“Instead, lead with insights and ideas that provide the spark for a valuable and meaningful conversation. Endeavor to learn more about your prospect from a place of genuine curiosity and interest. Collaborate with them to help them understand how your solutions will empower them to solve their own problems. Help them shine as the hero of their own story. Great salespeople get excited about being the sidekick. Helping someone else achieve greatness is hugely rewarding.”
– Charlene DeCesare, CEO and Founder of Charlene Ignites
Hire the Right “Customer Rescue Artists”
“Enable your people to extend grace. Hire people whose values are congruent with your own, then trust them to make the right call at the right moment about how to be a ‘Customer Rescue Artist.’ Give them a seat at the table to come up with solutions they can choose from that you agree on and fund ahead of time. Customers AND employees will love you for it!”
– Jeanne Bliss, President of CustomerBLISS
Cultivate Their Individuality
“The best way to win the hearts of your customers is to focus on educating them about their problem and being a guide that helps them find the best solution for their unique business situation.”
– Jeff Davis, Author and B2B Growth Strategist
Come from the Heart
“Winning the hearts and minds of your prospects isn’t about doing specific things…it’s about being a specific way. If your actions come from your own heart, it will always land in the hearts and minds of your prospects.”
– Leigh Ashton, Founder and CEO of The Sales Consultancy
Let Your Personality Shine Through
“Prospects fall in love with people they actually know, so don’t be afraid to add personality to your outreach and engage with your prospects on multiple channels. Use humor or tell stories. Comment on their social media posts. Send them content you think they’d find helpful. Let them get to know the real YOU.”
– Kasey Jones, Founder and CEO of A Better Jones
Don’t Act Based on Expectations
“To win the hearts of your prospects, you have to give more value than what you ask. Be a resource. Help them win with no ask in return.
In today’s world, LinkedIn is the place to be that resource. Posting valuable content on LinkedIn that answers your buyers’ questions and engaging in meaningful conversations is key to winning today’s prospects.”
– Jake Dunlap, CEO of Skaled
Confidence is Key
“Desperation is never attractive, in dating or selling. Your product will never be perfect. Your prospects will always want more for less. As a salesperson, it’s your job to own the value of your product and the benefits it offers your customers. Confidence in the value your product offers your customers is the most attractive trait in a salesperson. Own it and your prospect will make an effort to see it!”
– Whitney Sales, Creator of The Sales Method
Be a Problem Solver
“To buy, or not to buy, that is the question on the minds of your prospects. To win their hearts, figure out a problem your target buyers have and then provide a solution to the problem. Then make it easy to do the solution. Keeping it simple is smart (KISS)!”
– Kim Beasley, CEO and Visibility Strategist of Kim Beasley Consulting
Turn Your Community Into a Movement
“If you win the heart of your existing customer, prospective customers will want to be part of your community. Love is being heard. Stephen R Coveys’ book, ‘Habits of Highly Effective People,’ habit No 5 put it beautifully: ‘Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood.’ Put your customer first!
“Every interaction with your buyer and key customers is a chance to either advance their perception of you as a valuable source of insight. As a trusted solutions advisor, your role is to ask deep search questions, be the active listener, help navigate the internal and external complexities, and to guide and co-create a solution that is in the customers’ best interest. Elevate the conversations and the relationships into a partnership by quantifying and qualifying value aligned to primary business drivers and customer outcomes, because everyone loves to scale their sales.”
– Janice B. Gordon; Customer Growth Expert, author, and speaker
“Treat them like human beings, delete your templates, and send them a message that truly empathizes with their job, their situation, and who they are as people.”
– Sam Jacobs, Founder and CEO of Revenue Collective
Connect with Sam on Twitter.
Seek to Truly Understand What They Need
“People are the root of business and the bots haven’t taken over. Ultimately, people want to be seen, heard, and understood. When we seek to understand without listening to respond, that’s when the magic happens to win and keep the hearts of our buyers.”
– Amy Volas, Founder and CEO of Avenue Talent Partners
Stand Out From Their Exes
“Ask them ‘what is the one thing you always wanted from a vendor in our field to do that no one has ever done?’
“Low risk, if no one has been able to do it, you are no worse; but often I find that what they want is doable, and I get bonus points. More importantly, puts them in the center of things, and you get insight as to how they think.”
– Tibor Shanto; Chief Value Officer of Renbor Sales Solutions
Treat Them Like Your Best Friend
“The best way to win your customer’s heart is to get to know them like you would your best friend. When you put all of your focus on their core needs and desires and how you can help achieve them, you’re essentially saying, ‘you’re important to me, and I value you.’”
– Cynthia M. Barnes, Founder and CEO of National Associaton of Women Sales Performance
Connect with Cynthia on Twitter.
Always Have Their Back
“Two powerful skills serve to REALLY win the hearts of your customers, endear yourself to them, and win them as a customer for life. I am going to sound like captain obvious, bear with me; you’d be surprised how oblivious people are when it comes to actually practicing these key skills: Asking BIG questions and active listening 10 (to the 10th power).
- Ask High Impact Questions. High impact questions are like open-ended questions on steroids – the kind of question that would make a journalist or shrink jealous. The questions you ask should allow the prospect/customer’s emotions to seep into the conversation. Emotions play a HUGE role in the buying decision; the more you can target your value to align with the buyer’s emotions, the better your chances of winning the deal and gaining a customer for life.
- Listen like your life depends on it. When you level up your listening skills to a place beyond just active listening, you endear yourself to the customer. People love to talk about themselves. More than that, though, people LOVE to feel heard. Listen to understand what value means to them and what they personally need to achieve. When you listen to someone like they are the only person that matters to you in that moment, you will find that you quickly begin to matter more to your customer.
“In a way, you love your customers by having their back, even if that means gently nudging them out of their own way. If you want to be irresistible to your customer ask about and listen to learn their goals and what drives them. Then, help them achieve those goals. Deliver so much personalized value that they can’t even fathom buying from anyone else.”
– Anita Nielsen, President of LDK Advisory Services
Connect with Anita on Twitter.
Give Them Something to Remember You By
“The best way to win the hearts of your prospects is to give your knowledge away on a daily basis to establish yourself as their trusted advisor and stay top of mind. That way when they need your products or services not only will they pick up the phone and call you but they will also drag their friends with them. As Mae West said, ‘Out of sight is out of mind; and out of mind is out of money, honey!'”
– Jon Ferrara, CEO of Nimble
Connect with Jon on Twitter.
Winning the heart of your customer may seem like a daunting feat, but it’s actually pretty simple: listen, understand, and help.
How will you will the hearts of your customers?