Being a business owner is about more than running a solid business. Growing your business is dependant on so many factors. Have you considered how relationships can help your business thrive? Listen to us discuss the different types of relationships that have helped us gain momentum and prosper in the business world. Don’t try to do everything yourself. Build relationships and build a successful foundation for your busines.
Roger: Welcome to Local SEO Today. I’m Roger Murphy.
John: And I’m John Vuong.
Roger: Today, we want to talk to business owners who are watching this podcast, this video or listening to our audio in terms of you’re a business owner and you’re looking, “Okay 2019, how do I grow my revenue?” And John, I do want to talk today about relationships.
John: How to build solid relationships?
Roger: How it could affect your revenue because that’s really what you want to do and there’s different groups we all have relationships with so we want to talk like I say, the client, right?
John: Yeah, so the first off there’s gonna be four pillars so the first one we’re gonna talk about is clients and how effectively you should definitely build a strong relationship, right? So there’s two types: there’s transactional relationships or there’s a long-term relationships that you have to foster, build, right?
Roger: As we talked this morning if I go to my local coffee shop I’ve got a relationship just for a moment with that person but if they know my name or know my regular order that’s kind of a relationship where I feel like they know me, I keep going back but if I go someplace where they maybe are not so friendly or whatever you kind of go, “I’m not going back there.”
John: Yeah, and this is great like in terms of a local coffee shop, someone that knows you by first name,, you’ll continue going back to them because they know you. They probably have this short conversation with you and they probably see you on a regular basis and really know a little bit more about you than just any other coffee shop.
John: You know, big brand or whatever it may be.
Roger: Exactly, and then there’s other transactions such as say in the service industry, we deal with a lot of those service businesses like a plumber. Somebody who’s gonna help you with like a drain clearing problem. You don’t want to see him all the time but there’s a relationship you’re building there.
John: Exactly and how do you get that relationship started in the first place, right? So, you might have heard them on social media, you might have seen them on a flyer or online you’ve done a search but you’ve probably done something to want to give them a call. It could have been a reference, a referral from one of your friends or family or someone that have already used them before, you probably read them on a review or testimonial site so there’s a lot of things that you’ve done before that that triggered you to have a good sense of them wanting to help you.
Roger: Can I give you one example? We were talking about earlier, this didn’t happen that long ago but I had a drain issue, a sink drain in my house. It was over the holidays and you know, how difficult it is to find somebody to come on a holiday and it was late in the day, etc. But I found this company and I found them on Google but that relationship, I wasn’t looking for a long-term relationship but this service person was empathetic, they were on time, they were neat and tidy, they got the job done. All of a sudden I got this sort of relationship with a company. I don’t want to see them again for five years or whatever but they left me with a good impression so his relationship in that short period of an hour when he was on-site makes me think, “Okay, down the road. I could use them again.”
John: Definitely, and if anybody was to ask you who you used for that kind of problem that’s who you’re gonna refer.
Roger: Exactly, I gotta write him a written review, I forgot. I gotta do that.
John: Yeah, definitely.
Roger: So, that’s transactional also so we’ve talked coffee shops, we’ve talked, you know, service. There are also like and I like the idea of like say insurance, your house, your car. You need that every year and they obviously want to serve you every year and you know, take care of your needs.
John: Yeah, so insurance even when you go to the bank, right? There’s a big brand, there’s a relationship being built there but even for ourselves like we’re an SEO company, building a strong relationship with our clients which is multiple touchpoints, being very honest, transparent and being there whenever they are in need of any questions or any issues and problems. We have to troubleshoot them so making sure that you build a very strong relationship is very critical for your success.
Roger: You become a trusted adviser.
Roger: Whether it’s insurance, whether it’s the lawyer, whether it’s for your SEO company. Maybe it’s your lawn care person, that knows how to diagnose things or problems with your lawn but that’s building a relationship with your client. Serve them well, go pass your name on as you said, John, but also they’ll stay with you.
John: Exactly, so the second group that I want to talk about is the relationship you build with your staff, right? And your staff are so critical for the success of your business, right? They could be the ones that are front facing with the actual client. You might have a storefront or service based company and they’re the first person that either picks up the phone or they see at the reception so you need to make sure that they’re properly trained and they display the same core value, mission and you’re kind of I guess overall objective that you want to be put forward.
Roger: And then you want to…This relationship it’s really between you as the business owner and your staff. How do you think in terms of…Let’s talk about building loyalty or building reliability into your staff. How do you as the business owner, what’s your interaction with them to build that sort of relationship.
John: Yeah, I think the, you know, we’ve worked in the corporate environment and the type of relationships we’ve had with our managers would be very similar like a business to, you know, staff relationship so the way they treat you, the way they talk to you, the way they’re open to share things. You know, it’s the trust factor, right? If you got their back versus a client’s back, right? Making sure that you’re open to suggestions as well like, you know, just how I feel is, you know, the more friendly you are like a family environment if you’re open to them, they’re more willing to want to be open to you and they want to help you succeed.
Roger: And really if things like this as the companies get bigger just something as simple as knowing your staff by name and knowing a little bit about, do they have a pet, you know, we have, you know, we know people that have cats and they love their cats or their dogs. Or they might have bunnies but if you…
John: Or they have children, yeah.
Roger: And you ask them how was that soccer game with your little guy or gal?
John: Exactly, and personalize as much as possible, right? Find out a little bit about their hobbies and their weekend or if they like to travel, relationships that they have, right? The more personalized you have in terms of relationship the better it is and they’ll be the ones taking care of your clients, right? So, you need to make sure that you form a very strong relationship with your staff for them to excel and work well.
Roger: I know we’ve talked that you want to mention about getting together like company events that sort things. Team Building.
John: Exactly, team building is very critical not just to find a work environment but more on a social level as well, right? Because at work there’s a different dynamic than outside work, right? And getting to know them and maybe people are not comfortable with bringing their families or their spouse, right? But be willing to do that because that allows people to really open up, right? But having a monthly or quarterly team events even if it’s a lunch or you know, it doesn’t have to be that extravagant, right? But the more you have those kind of little touch points the better it is.
Roger: That’s right. So, it’s that, “Loyalty maybe you’re building, you’re showing respect to your staff that builds loyalty from them to stay with you.” Example, I was just having trade show the other day, this week actually or it was last week but one of the local boat shows and I saw this rep and he said, “This is my 40th show.” Forty years he has been a staff for the same company so what does that say? That says he’s been treated well, he’s loyal to the business owner, loyal to the business, to the brand so it’s always very encouraging when you see that.
John: Exactly, and it’s very important especially staff turn and turnover is one of the biggest challenges any business owner has to endure, right? The time you take to train someone to find someone and they have to be a good fit so you want to prevent that from happening so to treat your staff as well as you can so that you don’t have to, you know, overcome that good situation.
Roger: It’s like nurturing your relationship, it’s work but it certainly pays in the end. So, we’ve talked about clients, we’ve talked about staff…
John: The third one I want to talk about is vendors.
Roger: Vendors, yes, yes. Suppliers.
John: Suppliers. Yeah, so as a business owner let it be a service-based or you know, storefront business there’s gonna be a lot of products that you maybe purchasing or a lot of services you’re using as you’re servicing your client, right? So, how do, you know, form that kind of relationship with them, right? And we as an SEO company we use a lot of software that helps support our day-to-day operation, right? So, how do we get to use them in the first place? What, you know, we actually had to do a lot of digging and figure out which solution and software’s a good fit for our situation, right? Once we have decided which platform to use and software then it’s the relationship of do you want to continue with them or try different ones.
Roger: Exactly and there’s lots of…So many examples in business where you’ve got vendors, you’ve got a local rep that’s taking care of you. If you have a good relationship with your local sales rep or your local vendor. They might…Just because you’ve treated them nicely and you maybe, you know, when they come in you get them a coffee or whatever when they’re visiting. All of a sudden they remember you when a specials coming down the pipe or something say, “Listen. Hey, I gotta let my, you know, my preferred clients. I want them to know this special offer first.” So, that sort of relationship because you’ve got it with a vendor. Maybe they treat you a little bit more special.
John: Yeah, and they get to know you. Get to know your family, get to know you as a person so everything is based on relationships and not only that like we deal with a lot of I guess private companies as well. I’m sure a lot of local businesses are the same way, who do you use, right? In terms of your POS machine and payment transactions, right? So, yes one thing is to reduce the cost but reliability is such a strong factor, right? And troubleshooting whenever there’s a problem are they there to fix it, right? And how easy is it to contact them, right? All these things are so important in terms of forming a strong opinion or relationship with your vendor.
Roger: Exactly, and small, medium business owners who are watching this video today or listening to this podcast you have a way easier time to build those relationships with your vendors because they’re dealing with you and your the decision maker but I know my latest interactions with my cellular phone company, with my bank online, when I phoned in to talk to a live person they opened with, “This is gonna be recorded but we’re doing it because we want to improve ourselves and at the end I want to know, how did I do? Did I serve you?” So, big corporations want to build these relationships too.
Roger: And it’s hard for them but that’s how important it is. They’re trying to do that too.
John: Yeah, so I think we touched on three so far. I think the last one that I’m gonna talk about is the relationship you build with your community, right? So as a local business owner or any type of business how do you build relationships with the people that are gonna be coming to your business.
Roger: Sure or live in your community.
John: Exactly, so there’s a lot of factors within your community as well. It could be your neighbor, you have your hobbies, church followers or people that you attend different activities with, your friends.
Roger: And you as a parent of a young child of going into the community and as a business owner there’s every type of soccer team and baseball team where you could in your community build some sort of relationship like I know when my kids were younger there was a local dentist he sponsored one of the teams every year so it was a doctor so-and-so that was on the back of every Jersey. He just wanted to give back to the community. Well, what to do with the relationship, John? All the parents know, “Hey, that the doctor, that orthodontist, that dentist he supported this community all through those years.
John: And then who are you gonna use when your kids need a dentist, right?
Roger: Or who are you gonna refer?
John: Exactly, so giving back to the community, building a strong relationship, brand towards your community and they’ll remember you, right? So treat them well.
Roger: That’s right.
John: Right, and it goes a long way because it will translate to not just your business but referrals and possible reviews and case studies and you may form even stronger relationships outside of a business, right? You’ll have really solid friends and throughout the years you may need someone for help, right?
Roger: And it feels good to give back too. You really are giving back to the community.
John: Yeah, so forming the strong, solid relationships is very critical for your business to be successful so this is a great talk. Thanks a lot.
Roger: Thank you, John and we’ll see you again at Local SEO today.
John: Thank you.
Roger: Thank you.