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Which matters more to your business: client relationships or metrics? This is a trick question! As an entrepreneur, you need to nurture both of them. The key to success is keeping the two in balance. This is admittedly easier said than done. Charlene Walters, Vice Provost and Dean of the Strayer Digital Entrepreneurship MBA, says that people often make the mistake of overemphasizing metrics.
Of course you want to make sales and hit your revenue goals,” says Walters. “But you can’t neglect building rapport with clients. By getting to know people outside of the sale, you earn their trust and respect.” This, in turn, can lead to sales and hopefully long-term customer loyalty.
“So often people are quick to try to get a sale,” says Walters, “They’re intensely present with the client until they get the order, and then they drop them abruptly. That’s the worst thing you can do.” Even if you do win a sale, this cut-and-run approach negatively impacts your chances of selling to this same client in the future.
It’s also possible to go too far in the other direction, where you’re catering to clients to the point of losing money on transactions or not getting any transactions at all. Perhaps your people skills are on point, but the relationships aren’t translating into revenue. This is not good business, because your company needs to be profitable to survive.
Where do you fall on the spectrum between head and heart, numbers and people? Depending on which side you need to strengthen to bring your business into balance, Charlene Walters has few strategies for you to try.
If you’ve established a great rapport with someone and ask them this direct question, you might hear, “Nothing’s standing in the way. I’m ready to buy.” Or you might discover that the client isn’t committing to a sale because your product or service doesn’t meet their needs. If this is the case, it’s time to fine-tune your target market. Focus on prospective customers that have a need that can be addressed by your product or service.