You don’t have to wait for a customer to make the first move to begin building trust. Proactively reach out to potential customers and vendor partners, and use that communication to showcase your trustworthiness.
“We would love the opportunity to fulfill your next precision machined parts order! I know you’re busy, so I will reach out by phone on Tuesday to discuss how my team can help you.”
“I will follow up in a month to check in and see how we can support you!”
The most important part of being proactive is researching your customer and tailoring your communications to their unique needs.
Do they represent a small, mid-sized, or large business? Do they offer B2B or B2C services and products? What is the structure of their team? Where are they located? What challenges are they facing right now? What challenges are on the horizon for their industry?
And how can you help?
Proactively nurture trust with your existing customers
This same proactivity can also help you provide excellent service to your existing customers. Keep detailed notes on the businesses you work with and refer to those notes before any interaction.
Depending on the nature of each customer relationship, these notes may be strictly professional or include a few personal details. Maybe you learned in passing that your custom parts buyer just took an incredible vacation, is expecting a baby, or has experienced an unfortunate death in the family. Acknowledging their human experiences is the best way to build an authentic connection.
Proactively engage with your customer’s process
It’s easy to turn inward with your communication—even if that’s not your intention. “We” this, and “we” that. Look for ways to invite your customer to engage and share more about their needs and preferences.
Do NOT say: “We will let you know when your parts are ready.”
DO say: “When is your next production meeting where you’ll need to provide an update on this project?”
The second version requires more than a “yes” or “no” response from your customer. And by asking about their meeting schedule, you demonstrate that you understand their pain points and want to help.
3. Be Reliable
Don’t waste your hard work by failing at follow-through. And remember: follow-through involves more than honoring a contract for laser cutting services.
If you say you will call on Tuesday, call on Tuesday.
If you say you will provide a production update the day before your customer’s next meeting, provide the update.
If you say you will respond to their RFQ within two business days, respond within two business days. Or better yet, respond the same day! The name of the game is “under-promise and over-deliver.”
Keep yourself accountable in whatever way works best for you and your business.
Schedule promised calls on your calendar
Implement tasking software to keep your estimators on track
Slap a sticky note on your desk reminding you to send your buyer a baby gift
Reliability isn’t about being a “yes person.” To be recognized as reliable, you simply need to communicate clearly and follow through every time.
Your Trusted Partner for Manufacturing Solutions
Helping your business grow is the heart of TAKT’s mission. Sheet metal fabrication, precision machining services, quoting and estimating operations, machined parts sourcing, and sales support: TAKT delivers all these and more with expertise you can truly trust.
Talk to TAKT today and request a quote!