Live to Serve Because ALL Relationships Matter
Relationship Marketing is not just about selling your services it’s about building solid and successful relationships. Tweet This! The most successful relationships that I have personally had were ones where I could truly serve the other person. The same holds true in my business. If I can make that connection and figure out the best way to serve my client’s needs then I will be way ahead of the curve. Serving others I believe, is meant to be the core of our existence. Having a servants heart goes a long way in achieving this goal.
Now, I get it. It can be difficult to serve others at times. Especially when others act as if they do not want to be served or they aren’t appreciative. We are human after all and our emotions often tie us down when we need to be set free.
The key is to allow yourself to overlook and even forgive if necessary, when others don’t realize that you’re sincerely trying to serve. And in those situations where they do realize and are attempting to take advantage, we must always lead with forgiveness. Let it go and forgive them otherwise you’ll be tied down to those emotions and unable to fully serve others with a true servant’s heart.
Now that we’ve got that part out of the way. How can you serve others?
First key thing is to have a servant’s heart and if you don’t, dig deep and try to find it. Because without it, it’s going to be nearly impossible to truly serve others.
Second, focus on the person. Get to know them (build the relationship), and to the best of your ability assess their true needs, greatest desires, and goals.
Discovering Their Needs
Once you’ve overcome the hurdle of having a servant’s heart, the tricky part is learning how to assess their needs. This is at times NOT an easy task. Some people are extremely private and some can be extremely vague or lack communication skills. While others are so disorganized, they are unable to function long enough to allow anyone to help them. There are a myriad of other reasons which could interfere with this process.
Ask questions and LISTEN
Asking the right questions is crucial and truly hearing what they say. Sometimes this means being able to read between the lines. There are a ton of places on the internet where you can find questions to ask your clients in your specific niche, however; there a few questions you should consider asking no matter what your niche. These are questions that come after you’ve chatted a bit and have gotten to know each other. Remember to always start with polite and personal chit chat which will open the gates. You will both feel more comfortable before moving into the next phase of the conversation.
Below are just 2 examples, but these 2 questions I always ask.
1. I know your company offers [_____ products/services] … tell me more about that and more specifically about what you do?
Client: My company is ABC Co and we offer therapy/coaching services to broken-hearted woman helping them to heal and rebuild their confidence after a breakup. We also have a publishing company and have many different projects going on at this time. We are in the middle of a website redesign, setting up ad marketing campaigns, determining a better structure for our packages, and more. I am a Licensed Social Worker and the owner of the company and personally work with these woman one-on-one as well as working on trying to market my new book.
2. When determining what services your client or potential client may need, a good way to get started is to say something along the lines of:
a. Tell me what you’re struggling with the most at this time?
b. What are your top 3 pain points?
c. What 3 things do you do on a regular basis that you’d prefer not to do for whatever reason (don’t enjoy it, don’t know how to do it, no time, etc.)? After asking these questions, a client will often list off 2 or 3 items right away. So let’s say the client says …
Client: My email is a mess and I just can’t deal with it anymore!
You: Tell me more about the issues you’re having?
Client: It’s just too much.
You: How many email accounts do you have?
You: Do you currently use an email management program?
Client: What’s that?
From this brief snippet of the above conversation you have ascertained they’re really struggling with keeping their email cleaned up. They have 4 different email accounts and each one probably gets tons of emails. They are currently logging into each account individually and it’s become overwhelming. They are also working on marketing a new book that was recently launched and have some ad marketing campaigns they want to get underway as well as some website redesign projects taking place. Since the business is going through some restructuring there is probably a need for many administrative tasks such as creating forms, setting up email templates, and more. Also, note that they are working with woman suffering through personal trials. Confidentiality is a big concern here and reassuring the client you care about their client’s needs as well.
How can you serve this client?
1. Reassure the client that you feel their pain
2. Offer a solution that is viable for them
You: Client Name, I understand your grief. Email can be a bear to manage especially if you do not have the right tools. By utilizing the right tools and getting your email organized, I know that you will feel so much better having this off your plate. You also mentioned you were in the process of restructuring some aspects of the business including website redesign, packages, and launching your ad marketing campaigns. I’d like to hear more about these to determine how we can be of assistance in these areas as well. There are some items you may not have thought of such as creating forms, setting up email templates, …
and so on. You get my point.
At some point, you will likely be giving the client a breakdown of how this will happen. Sometimes, I give them a better description in our conversation and other times, I send it in an email or even in the proposal, depending which direction the conversation takes. It also depends how stressed the client is and what they need from me. This is where your listening skills are going to come into great use. Learn to hone them so that you know when and how to offer advice.
To have a truly beneficial relationship and a great relationship marketing campaign you must consider practicing some of the steps mentioned and you might want to read this short article on story telling as another piece of relationship marketing. It takes practice to listen well, and I’m still learning. The more you do it, the better you get at it. Stand with purpose each time you speak with anyone and practice truly listening. Tweet This!
1. Repeat back a bit of what they say to you exactly the way you heard it to ensure you both are on the same page (also helps you to remember).
2. Always do it with empathy and understanding of their current situation.
3. Never be critical or negative.
4. Be sure to maintain a positive attitude and try to help.
5. Reassure and calm the stressed out individuals you encounter.
No matter what business you are in, having a servant’s heart, good listening skills, and relationship building are imperative. So go out and live to serve because ALL relationships matter!