Building a Customer Relationship: What's Your First Move?

Last Updated Jul 12, 2010 9:38 AM EDT

SCENARIO: You're in a face-to-face meeting with a fully pre-qualified prospect.

Your challenge is to build a strong foundation for a long-term customer relationship.

Here are your choices:

  • Strategy #1: Build Rapport. Keep the conversation on areas of casual interest. A friendly chat is the best way to begin to build a relationship.
  • Strategy #2: Actively Listen. Ask an open-ended question and then actively listen to the answer. Ask further questions to clarify the situation.
  • Strategy #3: Converse. Treat the meeting much as you'd treat a meeting with a peer or your manager. Talk about as much as you listen.
  • Strategy #4: Interrogate. You don't want to waste the prospect's time so ask yes/no questions that will quickly determine whether or not you can help.

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