V= Value...make sure customers perceive that the service benefits they receive exceed the price they pay.
I= Initiative...seek ways to provide extra services to customers.
C= Concern...show customers that you care about them.
E= Enthusiasm...provide customer services eagerly and with a smile.
Treat customers like life-long partners
Become a solutions provider
Deliver more service than you promise
Schedule regular service calls
Develop open and honest communication
Use the ‘we can’ approach
Take responsibility for mistakes made
Be an ally for the customers’ business
Simply wait for the problem to develop
Focus only on making the sale
Over-promise and under-deliver
Wait for your customers to call you
Lie or make exaggerated claims
Use the “us versus them” approach
Blame somebody else
Knock a competitor
Focus on your own personal gain
A transaction between a buyer and a seller in which each party is concerned only about that party’s benefit. The seller is concerned only with making the sale; the buyer with getting the product at the lowest possible price. Most business transactions are market exchanges, and there are two types:
Solo Market Exchanges
Solo Market Exchanges
Parties in the transaction do not plan on doing business together again, both the buyer and the seller pursue their own self-interests.
These are long-term market exchanges in which the buyer purchases out of habit or routine; they tend to have the same orientation as they do in solo market exchanges, but the previous purchase does influence the next purchase.
Here both parties are concerned about each other’s welfare and in developing win-win relationships. There are two types of partnerships:
Both seller and the buyer trust one another and have a close personal relationship, thus they do not go into minor details
In this type of partnership both parties work and develop a long-tem relationship and make significant investment to improve profitability of both
Types of Relationships Between Buyers and Sellers
Most salespeople are involved in either market exchanges or functional relationships. Strategic partnerships are rare.
Foundations of Successful Relationships
Characteristics of Successful Relationships
Mutual trust: A belief by both the parties that the other one will fulfil its obligations in a relationship.
Dependability: The buyer’s perception that the salesperson, and the product and company he or she represents, will live up to promises made, is not something a salesperson can demonstrate immediately
Competence: To know what they are talking about
Customer orientation: the degree to which the salesperson puts the customer’s needs first
Honesty: truthfulness and sincerity
Likeability: behaving in a friendly manner and finding a common ground
Open and honest communication is a key building block for developing successful relationships
Both parties should have common, preferably shared, goals to be able to develop a successful relationship
Commitment to mutual gain
Both parties to work to have a win-win relationship
Credible commitments: Both parties make credible commitments to, which are tangible investments in the relationship
Structure and culture Organizational structure & management provide necessary support for the salespeople & buyers in a partnering relationship
Special training is required to sell effectively in a relationship-building environment
Reward systems on both sides of the relationship be coordinated to encourage supportive behaviours
Although not all relationships should become partnerships, strategic partnerships do tend to go through several phases
Awareness: salespeople locate & qualify prospects, while buyers identify various sources of supply
Exploration: both buyer & seller search and try out; they may explore the potential benefits and costs.
Expansion: supplier has passed enough tests to be considered for additional business
Commitment: investments are made in the relationship, especially in the form of sharing proprietary information, plans, goals, and the like
Dissolution: it can occur any-time because of poor performance, clash in culture, change in needs, and other factors
Phases of Relationship Development
Choosing the right relationship
Size to make a relationship with the right type of customer (big/small depending upon the pros and cons)
Access to technology some companies often develop innovations, either in the way they use a product or by altering a product, that the supplier can copy. Astute salespeople can identify such companies and develop strategic partnerships that lead to joint development of new products or technologies, important outcomes regardless of the size of the account
Managing Relationships and Partnering
Partnering relationships are built on effective communications. To improve communications with customers, salespeople are using computers, telecommunications, and videos. Companies are also creating direct links with customers via technology.
Using Technology to Increase Efficiency Supplier relationship management (SRM) is the use of technology and statistics to identify important suppliers and opportunities for cost reduction, greater efficiency, and other benefits.
Businesses are moving toward partnering strategies.
Functional relationships and strategic partnerships are characterized by a mutual concern of each party for the long-run welfare of the other party.
Mutual trust, open communication, common goals, a commitment to mutual gain, and organizational support are key ingredients in successful relationships.
Customers trust salespeople who are dependable, capable, and concerned about the customer’s welfare.