Building and Growing Customer Relationships

A customer relationship is a lot like other friendships & connections. While you start out as strangers, over time you develop a shared understanding.


We’re all searching for customers who share our values and understand our brand’s essence. While we often think about customer relationships in terms of numbers, each one is a personal relationship built on trust and relies on empathy. It’s a question of shared understanding and shared values. The real strength is the quality of trust and empathy. 

In many ways, a customer relationship is a lot like other friendships, connections, and relationships. While you start out as strangers, over time you develop a shared understanding. 

Let’s have a closer look.

In marketing and sales, we’re big fans of steps, processes and procedures. It makes sense really. We’re trying to define the stages of how to go from being a perfect stranger to being in a trusting, open, and understanding relationship.

Some marketing experts like to call this a customer lifecycle. A lifecycle is easy to envision especially if you think of it like a funnel or a circular series of steps. You go from attracting interest, evaluating relevance, converting, fulfilling, delighting, and referring. Attract. Evaluate. Convert. Fulfill. Delight. Refer.  

It’s a natural and repeatable cycle. 

In your work, no doubt you follow similar steps. One of the biggest ways to attract interest is to understand your audience. 

 

Being A Problem Solver

In understanding your audience, you are most able to attract their true interest when you know their hopes and dreams. You understand their problems, frustrations, trials, and tribulations. You are not a stranger to their world. Most importantly, you’re able to meet them where they are—without bias, criticism, or judgment. 

With a clear understanding of their problems, you’re able to connect the dots to help them see solutions.

Think of this as gardening. As a gardener, you’re planting a seed in a garden. If you’re a problem solver in the garden and your client is like the seed, you’re looking at the best possible conditions.

It may not be perfect conditions to start. You might need to till the ground, add fresh soil, and supply additional nutrients. You may need to offer more water, sunlight, or space between seeds.  

With this kind of attention, care, and responsiveness, the seed grows.

If your seed could talk, it would say, “Hey… I’m loving this!”

Let’s say your ‘seed’ is a CEO of a business that doesn’t have enough customers. They have to get more clients and they’re not sure how to do it. 

Because you understand their problem, you’re looking at ways to offer warm introductions, introduce fresh partnerships, and supply additional collaborative venture opportunities. You may need to offer new tools for collaborative co-selling, offer training, and share examples of case studies in parallel industries.

In simple terms, you’re helping them solve their problem of not having enough prospects in their pipeline.

 

Building Trust

As you work with people, they tend to open up. They may not share every pain, problem, or challenge on the first meeting. 

We’re a funny species really. We often don’t share our problems with others because we believe it is unprofessional or makes us look week. But, as you work closely with clients, clients often start to share things they didn’t reveal on the ‘first date.’

They may tell you things such as:

  • “We lost our main account—and now we’re scrambling.”
  • “Our best sales guy left, and now we’re trying to pick up the pieces.”
  • “Head office has a new initiative, and we’re running to make our numbers.”

When people open up and share these problems, you’re building trust. By listening to their real-life pains, you’re paving the way to find new solutions. 

 

Building Strong Relationships

Over time, you’ll have the strength born from working together to solve problems, evaluate options, and experiment with different solutions. You’ll get to know each other and know how each other works. 

This process of building strong a relationship relies on is translating problems into opportunities. It’s one where you’ll experiment and find the best options to solve each problem. One step at a time. Over the days, weeks, months, and years—you’ll have the chance to share ideas, create new systems, and explore innovative methods, processes, and tools. 

Some experiments may turn out differently than anyone expected. However, something else is going on. Something vitally important. You’re building strong relationships. You’re growing a personal and authentic bond with your customers. 

These are the clients and customers who rely on you and value your creativity.

 

Cultivating Shared Understanding

It doesn’t stop there. Much like a garden, once you’ve prepared the soil and cared for the growing plants, things flourish. 

This works for your business CEO client. Once you’ve shared ideas, made warm introductions, offered training, and brought in new partnership opportunities—you’ve cultivated shared understanding. 

This is a much deeper and flourishing relationship. It’s not a garden of rocks and weeds. It’s a garden of flowering plants, blossoms, and fruits. 

This is a client with whom you have developed a strong relationship over time. You now have gone through things together. You’ve grown to know each other well. You can rely on a sense of shared understanding and shared values.

 

Aligning In Values

As we face tremendous changes in our business environment, it’s increasingly important to build and grow customer relationships. In the customer lifecycle, we’re looking at developing something important, over time. We are developing a shared sense of values. We feel stronger when we know that we are aligning in values. 

With Co-Selling, you can serve your clients best by building their business with warm introductions. Starting with attracting prospects to helping them evaluate opportunities, convert to being customers, fulfilling their needs, and delighting them with your products and services—you’ll build powerful relationships.

As you do this, you’ll be able to build a powerful network of clients and a powerful network of referrals. With collaborative selling, exploring partnerships, creating new offerings, and making warm introductions to the right people in your industry has never been easier. 

With partnership Co-Selling, you can build and grow authentic relationships. These are the connections that can thrive and expand going forward. If you’re envisioning a virtual landscape with shorter sales cycles and greater team buy-in—with Co-Selling you’ve got the tools to succeed.

 

Sum Up

With the shift to collaborative selling, successful businesses are shaping the market and realizing significant revenue potential. Partnership Co-Selling is how you can virtually boost sales, expand your network, and translate your outstanding ideas into reality.

Using a platform like CoSell.io is the simplest way to get your sales team on board. CoSell is a robust platform that makes it easy and fast to automate and scale collaborative co-selling across sales teams. 

If you’d like to explore how partnership co-selling can help you and your team boost sales and win major clients fast - check out our selection of free eBooks.

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