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Are you a trusted supplier?
“All things being equal, people will do business with — and refer business to— those people they know, like and trust.” Bob Burg, author of ‘The Go Giver’
In business as in life we meet people we know and like but sadly our experience is that we can't trust them to delver as promised. Sometimes they let us down after they have contracted with us to provide a product or service, sometimes we just learn that they are generally unreliable.
No matter how well people get on in business relationships, unless a supplier is trusted they are going to struggle to win business, and certainly struggle to win repeat business.
How do you become a trusted supplier?
Start by being trustworthy.
The first step is to be trustworthy. Customers and colleagues need to feel that they can trust you. You can demonstrate that you are trustworthy by consistently delivering on your promises and being reliable.
That means delivering on the small stuff too, being on time for meetings, following up as promised and getting proposals in on time.
Deliver a great customer experience every day. It should go without saying, but your ability to consistently deliver an excellent experience will have a huge impact on whether your customers trust you. Going the extra mile means customers who buy and re-buy.
Make sure your customers feel valued. There’s nothing worse than getting the impression that your custom is not valued. The way you and your colleagues communicate with customers and how fast you respond to requests both contribute to how much you value them.
Understand your customer’s world. Sit down with your clients to understand what is important to them and why, as well as how they rate your performance against those priorities. You can then develop action lists to ensure that you are exceeding their expectations.
Treat people at levels with respect
Treat everyone that works for your client, from the CEO to the receptionist and cleaner with equal respect. When you visit a customer’s office your character and demeanor is being assessed form the moment you enter the building. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain from demonstrating respect for everyone you meet. When you respect others, that respect is reciprocated back to you in multitudes.
David Tovey is director of Sterling Growth Hub