Thursday, July 24, 2014
The end of the lease on my car has been approaching and I’ve been dreading the car purchase process that was imminent. I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted but since my last car purchase (lease), I’d moved from MD to VA and was assuming I’d have to go in to a new dealer and negotiate a car with a dealer in VA. I wasn’t excited about this because the fact is; I adore the woman who sold me my last 2 cars and the dealership where she works. Why do I love them? Because they are all about building and sustaining a relationship with me – one that has lasted the past 6 years and now includes me walking out the door with three of their cars.
I know this salesperson; I trust her, and, every time I set foot in that car dealership I feel like they roll out the red carpet for me. This isn’t in an inauthentic way but in a way that makes me feel cared for and taken care of – and at a car dealership of all places! Who would’ve thought? What this demonstrates is that it really is all about relationships. We’ve all had people try to “sell us” in a slimy inauthentic way and that’s never what anyone responds well to – it’s never how business owners want to come across to their customers. The only way to not do this is to first, build the relationships. Then, sustain them.
My car dealership not only checked in with me repeatedly the past 3 years but so did my sales person. She and I have developed a relationship. She knows about my business, my dogs, my home, and my husband – all the things that are important to me. It’s the same with potential clients – you must establish the “know, like, and trust” factor and then people will not only buy from you but also will come back and refer you out to others. I tell everyone how much I love Rockville BMW and recommend it highly. It’s the same for any business where I receive exceptional service, trust the people and feel well cared for; I am the first to shout about it.
The same holds true for strong leaders – I coach many leaders who are new to higher level roles and one of the first things they quickly realize is that effective leading is all about building and sustaining strong relationships. If people don’t trust you, they will have a hard time willingly supporting or following you. In order to establish that trust, you must build the relationship. Once leaders have strong relationships with their managers, peers, and subordinates, doing the job of “leading” becomes much easier.
So whether you are running a business, selling, or leading (or doing all three), there is nothing more important to your business, sales, or career than your ability to build and sustain relationships with those around you. Once you do this, it makes everything else flow much easier. For more information about building strong relationships, check out our video clip on some tips to build and sustain relationships.