People buy from people they know and trust. Yes the big box stores take business away from local stores on sheer buying power. MANY people are getting fed up with their attitudes tho and are returning to local shops IF the store is not out of their way AND the owner genuinely cares about serving the customer’s needs. Online, we are not as imbalanced as the big stores BUT building a trusting relationship is harder when the customer cannot look us in the eye and see our body language. Using video or audio where you can will help in the personalization and relationship building process.
The vendors you buy your goods from can be an invaluable asset to you and your business IF you take the time and effort to build a solid working relationship. These people can often give you insight on upcoming sales, what product line is moving very well, what signage and placement is working for your competitors and more. Unless you sell physical products online, the ability to get the insights on competitors from vendors is somewhat limited.
Building relationships with your competition might seem stupid at first but it makes REALLY good sense, especially in the time of high gas prices. People like to shop close to home these days and 2 stores in different parts of town might agree to accept each other’s coupons, do joint advertising or mastermind sessions to see how each can improve business without harming the other. These friendships might lead to a variety of joint ventures.
Trade Group Relationships
Trade groups and their meeting give you the chance to brainstorm with people in your industry that may be doing things differently than you and they MIGHT share their successes AND failures if you build friendships. What doesn’t work in their area might be wildly successful in yours. You’ll never know about the possibilities if you don’t start building relationships that are meaningful and useful to all involved.
A healthy personal life requires good personal relationships and a successful business requires many different types of successful business relationships to thrive and prosper.
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