As a serial entrepreneur, I know firsthand how important it is to connect with customers. Building relationships is key to learning your customers’ needs. And, you may gain more returning customers, referrals and net income in the process.
As a small business owner, you have an advantage when it comes to building customer rapport. The size of your company allows you to reach people at a more personal level than big businesses, which turns into stronger relationships with customers.
To create customer relationships, and keep them strong, you must do all you can to engage customers. Here are five ways to build customer relationships and keep them coming back.
There is no one definitive strategy to being productive, and it may take a little trial and error to find what works best for you. But if you’ve resolved to make 2017 the year you finally slay your to-do list every day, it can help to find out what’s worked for some of the most productive people.
In that spirit, we turned to some of our top experts and contributors to find out what approaches keep them productive all year long, in the hopes that a few of these can help you do the same in the year ahead.
10 Effective Communication Habits of the Most Successful People
Being able to communicate effectively, I believe, is one of the best life skills you can develop. Think about it, colleagues who can masterfully communicate their thoughts, feelings, ideas, concerns and wishes are better equipped to manage or avoid conflict, negotiate win-win scenarios, and increase their ability to collaborate at a high level.
Yet effective communication isn’t just about talking; it is also the ability to listen and understand the other side of the fence, to “read” and interpret body language, and to know how to approach another person so you can get your points across in a respectful manner.
Operating a small business, the backbone of the U.S. economy, has always been tough. But they’ve also been disproportionately hurt by the Great Recession, losing 40% more jobs than the rest of the private sector combined.
Interestingly, as my research with Harvard’s Ramana Nanda shows there’s a fairly straightforward way to support small businesses, make them more profitable and hire more: Pay them faster.
For years, my approach to email was like slaying a hydra. For every email I deleted, two more landed in my inbox.
Part of the problem, I knew, was the nature of my work. My team stands between two major organizations within my company, making collaboration crucial, however inefficient it was in practice. So not only did I put up with this mess, I was actually complicit in letting it worsen. I saved everything. I thought most messages addressed directly to me needed my response. I was wrong.
Looking back, I didn’t have the discipline and discernment to really manage my email habits. The system I use now isn’t a product of my own invention. My best friend works for a major consulting firm, and I was grateful when he sketched out the rough strategy his firm shares with consultants to help them manage their own unruly inboxes. The technique comes with all the beauty and simplicity you’d expect from a firm charging seven figures per engagement-and it relies on a folder system you can tally on one hand.