Tuesday, January 27, 2015

It's all about the relationship

Jeff Miller,
Vice President of
Business Development
When you make a large purchase, no matter if it is a car, an appliance or a memorial for a loved one, many people would rather do business with someone with whom they feel comfortable. When it comes time to sign on the dotted line and hand over our cash, many want to trust the company, as well as their representative. That is why building a relationship with our clientele and families we serve is so important.

Creating relationships with potential clients involves every aspect of a business, including marketing and customer service. Often times, we get caught up in the obvious details of our products and don’t take the time needed to create a sound relationship with our client.

A few steps that could be beneficial to creating a good relationship are:
  • Ask questions. Take a few minutes at the beginning of a call to ask a few friendly questions. You can begin with questions about their family, the weather or anything more personal than the font size of the memorial they are ordering.
  •  Don’t be a “salesperson.” Take away the perceived barrier of the person on the other line viewing you as just a person looking to earn a commission. Take your time explaining and educating, and become someone they trust.
Let’s face it. Both parties know why they are there. The customer on the phone is calling to purchase a memorial, and you are there to sell it to them. But, the upfront working relationship will enable you to give them more value in your services. It will make the sharing of details and expectations flow easier, and lead to a smooth sale. In my opinion, there isn’t anything much better than knowing you have earned the trust of a new client. They can become your best lead source for recommendations in the future.

I encourage you to take the time to discuss this topic with your staff. To not only bring awareness to the importance of building a better relationship with your clients, but to give your associates another step in making the sale.  

This article originally appeared in Modern Memorialization, Trigard Memorials' weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at http://www.trigard.com/thursdays.

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