In this current environment where competition is fierce, and it seems that your prospective customer may be ambivalent about whom to choose, the importance of “winning the ties” becomes paramount. With all things being equal, how does your prospective customer choose between you and the competition?
”Winning the ties” means creating an environment where your prospective customer feels they get greater value from their “relationship” with you and your organization just by being associated with it. When it comes down to awarding business, and everything else is equal, your greater relationship value wins the tie every time. Greater relationship value can take many forms, but certainly being a “go to source,” or being considered a “respected advisor” will help to win the business that others consider comoditized.
This approach of creating greater value from a relationship is generally not customer specific, but an organizational philosophy and must be a focus of the organization. Just as important, this approach must be genuine, and it must create a welcoming environment that demonstrates that your organization cares not only about the potential customer, but to all customers.
To create greater relationship value do you “network” or instead, do you look to “build relationships?” How are you creating the visibility needed to make someone interested enough to research you and/or your company before they meet with you? What have you done to add value to your customer base besides supplying your direct products or services? Are you hunting for business, or have you created an environment where you are actually being hunted? Do you use your existing clients as ambassadors for your company? What community service initiative is your company involved with that demonstrates your commitment to not just profitability, but dedication to your roots?
It is important that we leverage all the tools that we have in order to win business today. By creating greater relationship value with your current and potential customers, you are not only positioning your business to win the ties, but you are building the credibility of your business. And in today’s business environment, credibility and winning the ties is what can make you and your business an industry leader. Where do you and your organization want to be?