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You Are Here: Home - Newsletters - "Organized For A Living" - Article

The 3 R's Of Business Success

For most organizations, success depends heavily on how well -- or how poorly -- they handle RELATIONSHIPS with their customers. Learning how to establish productive relationships with customers is the goal of most successful organizations. It is critical to learn how to build a climate of TRUST and cooperation in which people will want to continue to do business with you and refer more business to you.

In this article, you will discover the keys to effectively BUILDING your business from author and Certified Speaking Professional, Patti Hathaway. Patti has never made a "cold call" or marketed her services, yet, she remains one of the most in demand speakers in Ohio. She attributes her success to her ability to build rapport with her clients which builds her repeat and referral business.

The number one strategy in getting repeat and referral business is to be the BEST VALUE. Too often organizations spend their time on marketing and sales instead of becoming the best product or service in the marketplace. Customers talk to each other, therefore, it is critical to become the most positively talked about in your industry, so that the basis is built for repeat and referral business. Customer service research shows time and again that it is far cheaper to keep a current customer than gain a new one.

Two things are essential in building your business: you must have a product or service that fills a need, and you must build rapport or CONNECTION with potential customers so you can find out what their need is and fill it. There are many ways to create a bond with your clients -- but the most effective is by learning to "read" people more sensitively and respond to them in a similar fashion. We can establish a positive relationship quickly by incorporating MIRRORING into the way we work with customers. Mirror or match the other person's voice tone and tempo, body movements and gestures, and body postures. The customer will begin to regard you as someone they can trust and communicate with -- relate to. Once you have established rapport with your customer, you can begin to build on your success.

First off, don't be afraid to ask for business. Ask intelligently and you shall receive. Consider asking your customers:
  • How can we build on our SUCCESS?
  • How can we EARN the right to do more business with you?
Ask for a letter of RECOMMENDATION that you can use in your marketing to other customers. Request a referral letter to other potential customers that could use your product or service.

Many organizations have customized return cards asking for customer FEEDBACK after a sale or service call. I this quarterly newsletter that contains articles relating to the topics I speak on, a list of current clients and other news related to my business. It keeps my name and face in front of my clients at least four times a year.  A newsletter with expert free ADVICE and the latest hot trends in your industry or business would be appreciated by most customers. Include a return card so the customer can indicate their desire for more information on your product or service.

Also consider having unique BUSINESS CARDS that people will want to keep -- such as a magnetized card, a unique design or shape related to your specific business, or Rolodex cards. I use a photo Rolodex business card. Many people will forget my name but probably not my face.

If your organization uses voice mail, PERSONALIZE your message regarding where you are for that week and when the caller can expect a return call. It shows you put yourself in the customer's shoes and you recognize the importance of their call. When clients call my number, they find out when and where I will be for that particular week. The purpose is twofold:

(1) It lets them know when I am unable to return their phone call due to my speaking schedule

(2) It shows how busy I am and that they better finalize a date with me before I'm already booked with another client. This often results in more business.

When a customer goes with a COMPETITOR, don't hesitate to call and ask for feedback so you can learn from that situation. With current customers, you may want to ask WHY they buy from you. Why do they buy from others? When your customers tell you they are satisfied with your product and/or service, thank them and ask "If there was one little thing we could do to satisfy you even more, what would that be?"

If you want to expand into a new market with your product or service, consider conducting research utilizing POTENTIAL customers. Provide the participants in your research a discount coupon for your service or product or some other INCENTIVE for participating. When potential customers see you going out of your way to get input on a new product or service, they may consider your organization the next time a need arises. Publish the results of your research in a trade journal or local business newspaper -- it makes you "the expert" and provides your organization with free exposure. Publicity of this kind is invaluable and cannot be bought with advertising dollars.

The bottom line is this -- what are you doing, so people THINK of your organization when they need a product or service that you can offer?


Patti Hathaway, Certified Speaking Professional and Author, is known as The Change Agent. She helps people change their perspective to produce results by providing customized, high-content, interactive, and energizing keynotes and training. Contact her at 1-800-339-0973 or . Visit her website at

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