Listen up small business owner friends! Running a small business is hard work, and I’m sure that’s no surprise to you. I believe one thing that will set a business apart is the relationships that are built.
Business is all about relationships…how well you build them determines how well they build your business. ~ Brad Sugars ~
Whether you realize it’s happening or not, every interaction you have with someone is setting the tone for your future relationship with them – good or bad. Customer, supplier, even your competitor…you can drastically change the course of your business just with how well you build those relationships.
Network with vendors at events
My husband and I do quite a few events with our respective businesses. Some events are for handfuls of people, and some are for thousands. What I can tell you is that no matter the size of the event, we take the time to meet the other vendors and learn more about them.
One of our favorite events is happening this weekend. If you’ve seen us at this event, you know that one of our top priorities has been taking care of the vendors, and we truly find so much joy in that. Unfortunately, it just didn’t work out for us to be a vendor there this year, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t care about it!
I had already decided to work with my good vendor-turned-friend Farmericana with her booth, prior to knowing that we wouldn’t be participating ourselves. (Again, if you’ve seen us there, you know I don’t work on the trolley… 😂 …I mostly walk around and talk to the vendors…relationship building!!!)
I mean, I took a vacation day from my day job and everything to come work for someone else! I even washed & dried my hair AND put on makeup for this girl! I don’t even always do that for my OWN events, haha.
We have finished the second day, with one more day to go, and I couldn’t be more excited to go back. It is definitely a different experience working someone else’s space, but I think I’ve learned some things that I can take back to my own setup! I have had a blast working with her.
The only problem…I want to bring home half of her booth. 😂 Seriously, check her out online (and no, she doesn’t even know I’m writing this and I definitely don’t get any kickbacks from it…I truly love her products).
Prioritize the customer experience
When you are interacting with customers, whether online, at an event, or via email/text/phone, make sure that their experience is a good one. That can be about more than just the words coming out of your mouth too!
- Is your booth set up in a way that is conducive to customers shopping your products?
- Are you hiding behind a table (or a phone)?
- Are customers greeted when they walk in or walk by?
- Is it easy for them to communicate with you?
- Is your website overwhelming?
- Are you being authentic in your communication?
- Are you approachable?
- Are you only looking for a sale or are you truly building an authentic relationship?
These are just a few things to think about when it comes to the experience that your customers have with you. You want it to be a good one so that they come back!
People don’t buy goods & services. They buy relationships, stories, & magic. ~ Seth Godin ~
Leave them with a little magic
I can’t tell you how many customers came into this event this weekend specifically to see Farmericana. It was more than a few for sure. I saw ladies with wristlets that they’d bought at previous events coming back for something new. One lady came back for two new bracelets…while wearing the bracelets she bought previously…along with the matching purse.
These were repeat customers, with at least six months since the last time they had seen her!
Yes, it helps that the products are unique (and gorgeous). But the customer service that Alicia gives is outstanding. She just has that magic touch! It truly was my honor to work with her this weekend. It was 100% worth having to use biofreeze on my feet when I got home. 😂
I’m grateful for these relationships.
Over the past two and a half years, we have continued to pour into these relationships with vendors that we’ve met at events. This is perhaps the biggest one we’ve participated in to date, but we see the vendors at other events as well. I like to think the service that we’ve provided to them has set the bar high for others. 🤷🏻♀️ But regardless, we feel blessed to know them and love following their journeys though social media and look forward to catching up with them in person when we do see them.
Do your customers feel the same way? Is there something that draws them to purchase from you again, instead of someone who sells a similar product or service? This is especially important with direct-sales companies where all of the consultants are selling the exact same product. What is going to set you apart IS the relationship that you build with them. I can guarantee if you only ever come to them when you are looking to make a sale, they will find someone else…no matter how good your product is.
Take the time to invest in your relationships.
It will pay off in the end. It takes time and effort. And sincerity!!! But it’s absolutely worth it.
Until next time!
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