We often talk about the importance of building strong, long-term relationships with customers. One means of assessing the overall health of the customer relationship is to consider each individual encounter with any given customer for clues on our contribution to the relationship. Specifically, we should be asking ourselves, "Did my customer feel better after spending time with me today?" or "Do my customers consistently feel better after spending time with me?"

Consider your daily encounters from your own "Odds Are." There are a number of reasons spending time with a specific person might make us feel better: their high energy or upbeat demeanor, their interest in us, the quality of their insights and expertise, or the overall value they bring to our personal or professional life. It is no different from your customer's perspective. As sales professionals, we should always strive to leave every customer feeling better for having spent time with us. Here's how:

High Energy
Energy is infectious, and we should always be a source of positive energy for our customers! Make sure your smile, body language and voice all convey the same positive and confident tone.

Build Up the Customer
Every human being appreciates positive reinforcement, and it is such an easy thing to do. Positive reinforcement can be as simple as complimenting someone's attire or acknowledging a work anniversary. Just be sure compliments are 1) sincere and 2) within the parameters of professional decorum. Even more powerful is recognizing a customer's professional accomplishments or his/her role in the successful implementation of your product or service. Do we always remember to recognize customers for their roles in our success?

Add Value
Bringing valuable insights, ideas and solutions to customers is how we instill confidence in them as to the worth of our business relationship. Delivering value to customers will always leave them feeling glad they spent time with us, and more importantly, feeling as though their time invested with us is worthwhile.

Next time you walk out the door or hang up the phone after a customer interaction, take a moment to ponder whether your customer feels better for having spent time with you.