Thursday, December 30, 2010

Relationship based business development benefits all consumers

Imagine that every time you made a purchase, spent your own money, made an investment in your business, your health and wellness, or your home you knew and trusted the person who was providing the service. You knew they would go beyond customer service, because your were connected to them by someone you both knew and you both trusted. Would that make your business interactions better, more comfortable, and more at ease?

What is Relationship Based business development?

Relationship based business development is growing your business through referrals. Referrals are traditionally thought of as something you ask clients for and hope they know someone they can direct your way. In the Referral Institute we teach 8 sources of referrals. There are many people business owners have relationships with that they can support by referring their own clients and prospects and building strong relationships through giving.

Is Relationship Based sales a fad?

Relationship Based is the oldest form of sales. You need help with something for your house, your company, or your family - and you ask someone you know for advice on who to use. We may have strayed from this connection to the people we are asking for services from, but we can go back to having a relationship based on trust with the people we exchange our money for their services.

What kinds of business can be helped with Relationship based sales?

Almost any kind of business where you are spending a lot of money, or investing in your business, or your family, or your finances, or your health. Service businesses like financial planners, massage therapists, painters, web designers, and mortgage brokers are just the tip of the variety of types of businesses that rely on relationships with their clients and referral sources to be successful.

What about retail?

I love the idea of trusting my retailer enough to ask them for advice on other products and services. Does the person who sold me my office furniture have a recommendation for someone who can lease me office space like a commercial realtor? Do they have a relationship with someone who can steam clean the carpets or someone who sells office supplies? These businesses form natural relationships and can easily support one another with referrals at the retail store level.

How does this benefit consumers?

Consumers asking for advice from a trusted vendor (be it a payroll service provider, a life insurance agent, a life coach, or a public relations specialist) can know that the first contact with the needed service provider is opened by a relationship. The consumer has an ally when working with a new service provider. They no longer have to enter the business transaction on their own. Each time money is invested or spent there is a higher level of comfort and more ease in the transaction.