I share a conversation I had with a gentleman that leaned towards creating a referral strategy in which we could refer quality clients back and forth to each other. One of my questions to him was, “Tell me something about your quality clients that you have great relationships with that you feel might be good referrals for me.” He leaned back and thought about it, and he said, “I really don’t have any solid relationships with any of my clients.”
It shocked me. I asked why. He shared, “Well, based on the service I provide, I sit down with somebody for the first time, I show them all the benefits, what they can get out of it, and all the different ways of using my service. Once they agree, they sign. They get what they want. I get what I want. They become low maintenance customers, and I really have no need to keep in touch with them unless they give me a call and ask a question.”
Wow, not quite the strategy I would apply in my own business. He then asked me, “Why, what would you suggest?” I replied, “Personally, I simply stick to what I call the R x R = R formula in my business. It’s a simple formula that I believe we all need to apply in business to create a win-win for both parties.”
“What does R x R = R actually mean,” he asked? I explained that the first R represents relationships. Build quality relationships with your clients and your customers. Harvey Mackay wrote a great book years ago called Swim with the Sharks Without Getting Eaten Alive. There was one section he took a lot of pride in with 77 questions he would ask his clients to really get all the information on them, so he knew them inside and out. Birthdays, children, everything you could possibly think of. What it did was create great relationships because he knew a lot about his customers and his clients.
The second R represents results. We must deliver results for our clients. We must deliver the goods and services with the excellence we promised to them. Do what you say, when you say, the way you say you’re going to do it. Your clients expect results.
When you develop great relationships and consistently deliver results for your clients, the last R is retention. You keep them. Why would they leave? They have a great relationship with you. They’re getting what they want. They’re going to stay.
Let’s look at this for a moment. Let’s say you have a great relationship with your client, but for whatever reason, your company, your organization is not delivering the quality results of excellence that your client expects. Someone else might come along and promise to deliver the goods and execute on their promise, and your client just might leave you. Let’s say you deliver great results. You give them what they want, when they want it, the way they want it, but you’ve never taken the time to get to know them or build a relationship. Somebody might come along who’s been wooing them for quite some time, build a great relationship with them, and one day, your client just might disappear.
It’s not either-or, it’s both. We need to develop great relationships with our clients, deliver great results, and we will retain them as clients. Both parties will win as they develop a long-lasting relationship in addition to mutually helping each other’s businesses grow.
When this formula is executed effectively, you get one more thing. You get a fourth R, and that represents referrals. To build a healthy business, you want to be dealing with clients you enjoy doing business with. Clients hang out with people just like themselves, so when you retain good quality clients by delivering consistent results while building solid relationships, they’ll refer more people just like them. That’s the formula for building a successful business.
Coach Michael Dill is an award-winning certified business coach, professional speaker, and trainer. He is the President of Power & Ice Wealth Creation, a strategic leadership company that works with business owners, leaders, teams, and entrepreneurs to both develop a systematized and structured organization while accelerating their mindset, efficiencies, and effectiveness to grow both personally and professionally to achieve extraordinary results. He brings more than 40 years of business and entrepreneurial experience in his leadership, team training, and mentoring practice. businesscoachmichaeldill.com