Imagine this. You’re on your first date with someone you’ve just met. You like what you see – they’re easy on the eye, the conversations are interesting, and you find that you have a lot in common (as much as you can figure out in a few hours). All in all, it’s an excellent date.
Are you ready to tie the knot, though? Of course not. You don’t know know this person yet. You don’t know which secrets they have hidden away.
You don’t trust this person yet.
And without trust, the only place this thing is going is a casual fling.
It’s the same in business. You may like the look of a product, their proposal is well put together, or their ad makes you feel good. You’ll try it out, but you’re not going to commit for life to this one brand yet. As soon as something better comes along, you’re jumping ship.
Trust is not something you just get overnight. Trust is a result – the result of taking lots of small risks, from sharing personal information, from making someone feel safe. Building trust is a dance – give and take, give and take – until one day, you just know you can trust someone completely.
ROR: The Most Important Metric
You’re familiar with Return on Investment (ROI), right? But have you heard about ROR – Return on Relationship? We’d like to offer that ROR is more important than ROI. “But wait, I’m in business to make money,” you may say.
And you’re right. However, the better your ROR is, the better your ROI would be. The stronger the relationships are that you have with your clients, the more they will buy from you and the longer they’ll come to you for your services.
“ROR (Return on Relationship) is the value accrued by a person or a brand due to nurturing a relationship. ROI (Return on Investment) is simple dollars and cents. ROR is the value (perceived and real) that will accrue over time through loyalty, recommendations, and sharing.” – Ted Rubin
ROR is calculated by measuring referrals or repeat business compared to total clients you’ve helped over the last 12 months. For instance, if you’ve helped 1,000 people over the last year of which 200 are referrals or repeat customers, your ROR would be 20%.
How Do You Foster Great Relationships with Clients?
There are several ways to nurture relationships. For instance, you can share behind-the-scenes stories of what you’re up to. Or you can call one client a week just to catch up and hear how they’re doing. You can respond quickly to queries, ask for feedback, or host events for your most loyal clients.
These are just some ideas, and what would work for someone else may not work for you and your business. Figuring out your own relationship-building strategies is the fun part, especially if you do it hand-in-hand with your clients.
Our challenge to you – and ourselves – is to figure out how to best build relationships in the business, and to dance the dance for trust.