We all want to grow our business, make more sales and increase profit margins. Depending on the business you are in will determine how you go about it, however there is one important element in achieving this and that is relationships – internally with staff, with suppliers and most importantly with your customers.
To establish and develop your business relationships, it is critical to think long term and understand who you are dealing with…. Some of us are naturally gifted at building rapport, asking open ended questions and providing the right solution for the client to transact with you and your business. Sometimes this is harder to achieve and needs to be refined over time – treat your client like they will be a customer of yours for years to come.
There is a saying that - 'The customer doesn’t buy the product or service, the customer buys you…'
This is true in many instances but isn’t always the case - I will say this – it is much easier to achieve a mutually beneficial outcome if you have a positive relationship with your client.
So how do I achieve this?
1. Understand Your Client
• Be very clear about what you are trying to achieve with each client.
Are they a new customer? Do you need to start a relationship? Are they a customer who has significant growth potential? Or are they a long term client who won’t grow any further? Regardless, be crystal clear on your client objectives so you know how to manage the relationship.
• Do you really know them?
Who is your client? – understand your client’s personality, both as a business and as individuals. Do they need regular personal attention? What do they value in business? Price, Service, Quality? What do they respond best to? Do they have a passion, interest or hobby? Who do they follow in sport? What music do they like? Do they love food or wine?…. Do they have another passion? Do they have kids? What are their names and how old?
The list goes on….. It might seem like too much but trust me, this is critical. All of this information enables you to better understand your client but most importantly allows you to build rapport, form better relationships and ultimately help you achieve the best business outcome for both parties. If there are issues with your product or service, they can be overcome with the foundation of a solid relationship.
You hear how elite sports teams and coaches in particular must know each of their players’ individual personalities and what they respond best to in order to achieve maximum performance – this is no different to you and your role as a business owner or employee.
2. The Role of Sports & Entertainment
We are all connected to sports & entertainment in some way, whether you follow mainstream sports like AFL, NRL, Cricket, Soccer, Golf or Horse Racing or are passionate about musical acts, theatre, food, wine or the arts. We all have some connection and a passion to connect with.
We use sports & entertainment as an avenue of enjoyment, feeling part of a tribe and belonging to something with meaning. We also use it to relax and enjoy time with friends, family and clients or with work associates.
It’s all about getting to know people socially, connecting with each other by having the same experience and ultimately being entertained. “Do you remember when…..” is the type of conversation you want to have in sharing, reminiscing and reminding yourself of that feeling you experienced. It also allows us to connect at a deeper level that ultimately helps us build trust and rapport.
3. Do I see this as an expense or an investment?
Depending on how you and your business value your clients, revenue and business growth will determine your answer to this…. Many sales people see this as vital in their role, a number of accountants or finance staff just see the numbers as another questionable expense line (I could write an essay on this alone!)…. In years gone by it has been a luxury item, a chance to have a nice meal and a few drinks on the company with no real structure or purpose to who you are inviting or why.
It is critical there is purpose in WHY and clarity on HOW this is measured.
It is no longer a discretionary spend when you consider it this way and you will have clear understanding on your return on investment. Unfortunately there are not many businesses that take this strategic approach!
Winning business and retaining business is so competitive that you must establish strong business relationships that perhaps become friendships. If you are good enough to become friends on a personal level with your clients, I guarantee you will have a positive business outcome.
As long as you are strategic in your approach and are clear on the objectives you want to achieve, the investment in entertaining clients and building better relationships will deliver the commercial objective.
4. What is the best way to buy?
This can be the hard part….
You can purchase season long reserved seats or a corporate suite at a sports stadium or with a team. Commitment to long term contracts for entertaining clients is usually suitable for larger organisations with a large customer base. Not all events with these memberships will suit your full customer base and you need to be aware of this - often more client-specific entertaining achieves a better outcome. This might be a mid week private dinner at a renowned restaurant, a round of golf with a known personality or a specific meet & greet with their favourite performer or sports star.
It can be a time consuming process to search and find the right option for your client, as many events have multiple options.
TIXSTAR is an efficient way to find the right experience direct from leagues, teams, event promoters and experience providers – dining packages, corporate suites, inner sanctum experiences, VIP access, meet & greets - with easy price comparison, date specific search and more. All so you can focus on your core business.
Book your next AFL or NRL Package….. if your client is a Collingwood supporter try something more impactful like a VIP Inner Sanctum Experience with the Collingwood Football Club and visiting the rooms pre-game? Maybe play in a Pro-Am Golf Tournament with the pro’s…. Try a premium Culinary Experience at a premier restaurant or be part of a once in a lifetime ANZAC Day experience with legend Kevin Sheedy…. It’s all about the "experience" for you and your guests.
If you want a simple yet unique reward or gift for your clients, staff or next special occasion TIXSTAR Sports & Entertainment Gift Vouchers are a perfect way to say thank you in a different and unique way.
Get to know your clients, invest in these relationships, keep things on a personal level and you are on a winner!