It may not yet feel it for the majority of us, but spring 2018 has officially arrived! Once those first beautiful days arrive, we will all be talking about how difficult it is to be at work and how we would much rather be outside enjoying the weather. What if, instead of fighting against "spring fever," we embraced it‚ to the benefit of our sales efforts and our customer relationships?
The euphoria created by those first lovely days of spring, and all the terrific activities that go with it, is nearly universal, and, therefore, a great opportunity to expand our Common Ground with customers.
Start by Exploring. What are your customers' favorite spring activities? Do their kids play spring sports? Are they gardeners? Campers? Hikers? Are they baseball fans? Will they be going to their home town opening day game? These are the insights which allow us to better understand the personal interests and motivations of customers in order to cultivate the personal side of the business relationship. This is also insight that will drive future conversations, deeper connections and opportunities to add value.
Have a customer who is an avid baseball fan? Now you know that inviting them as your guest to an upcoming game would be a great way to cultivate the relationship. Not in the same market as your customer? Provide them with tickets to enjoy with guests of their choice, as a means to convey your appreciation for their business. No budget for event tickets? Without spending a dime, you now have the entire baseball season to converse over team standings and other baseball factoids.
This is just one example, but the concept applies to all outdoor endeavors and interests availed during the mild seasons. And don't forget about family vacations! Who doesn't like to talk about their travel adventures and favorite destinations?
The specific topic isn't really important; if the interest is gardening, we can share tips, insights or suggest sources for gardening supplies. The same is true of travel or any other endeavor. The key insight is that, once a passion or interest is uncovered, we can use that insight to:
- Drive conversations of great interest to the customer
- Gain deeper insights on the interests and passions of our customers
- Add value by providing relevant insights or otherwise facilitating that interest
- Cultivate a deeper, more personal relationship
Instead of bemoaning the hardship of spring fever, embrace the joy of this season‚ and then share it with your customers!