Your hairstylist tells you her or she is moving to a new salon in the next town. The drive is 15 minutes further than what you’re doing now, and the price is going up 10%. You have been with your stylist for three years and love what he or she does with your hair. Do you stay with him or her, or stay at the current salon and find another stylist? You go with the person because of the relationship and loyalty even though the overall cost is more intime and money.
People buy from people, not companies. The relationship you have with a service provider outweighs where they work over time. Salons are just one example of the importance a relationship has over the place the service is provided. Even when your stylist stops cutting hair, or you stay at the salon because you cannot afford the new overall cost, you remain friends with that person.
I was with my previous health club employer for eight years and was the department director before leaving. Some of my clients had been with me for seven of the eight. In that time, we went out socially, met each other’s kids, and our lives intertwined. Not all of my clients changed to my new employer, they all have contacted me, and I’ve had lunch or been on fun outings with them since leaving. People are loyal to people.
Clients and customers first buy because of you, not just the product or service you are selling. They believe in you and in you to give the answer to their needs. When you give them your undivided attention and care, the relationship builds over time. Mutual trust occurs and you become vulnerable with each other. I pride myself on these types of relationships with my clients and have already established some at my current employer in only four months as I write this blog.
The same is true of coworkers. People change jobs, friendships remain regardless of what company gives the paycheck. Social media helps with connections, it is not the same as calling and texting the person directly. I feel good when old coworkers tell me how much I’m missed. I miss seeing and talking with them too! The job itself is not missed, the people at the job are what made me like showing up to work. Your coworkers buy into you to do the job at a high level. You’re the difference in fulfilling the job description.
AI is hot and companies are investing billions into using it to drive buying decisions for their products and services. We buy products and services online without even talking to a person. When it comes to major purchasing decisions, which is a relative term, people still want to buy from people. You may buy a car online, you went to a dealer and spoke with a salesman first, or the person selling it online. Nothing replaces human interaction and trust. We want to talk to a human in customer service about certain problems an automated system can’t solve. People want people.
People are why I like my career in the fitness industry. People pay me to interact with them to achieve their goals. Even if you pay an online trainer, it’s still a human being, not AI, on the other end of the internet you’re communicating with. A relationship and trust are built through interactions of providing fitness services. I interviewed with an online company who could use AI to write workouts and meal plans, they hire certified personal trainers to do the work and build relationships for their brand.
Relationships are what bring customers back to purchase over the weeks, months, and years. The person tied to the brand, not the brand tied to the person. If your personality skills aren’t great, that could be the reason your success isn’t at the level you desire. Work on relationship building rather than just selling. Even though I am a marketer and seller of personal training services, it is the relationship with the client that creates their desire to purchase ongoing sessions. Yes, you have to get a client/customer the results they want. Just because you’re a friendly person doesn’t mean they believe in your product or service. Many prospects have walked out of stores to buy the same product elsewhere because of a bad experience with a person, not the product’s performance.
Work on the relationships through working on yourself to develop a pleasing personality. We are all salespeople regardless of our job titles. The trust you build in the relationship creates the opportunities for you to be promoted, your projects approved, and the added perks that aren’t listed on the job description!