I study Leaders, it’s what I do.  My education is in Leadership.  I studied Leaders all day. Over a decade later, and not because I’m in class, I still study Leaders.

I follow leaders in several different employment and positional arenas but I really like following Life Coaches, Network Marketers, and Motivational Speakers.

Recently I was listening to some Network Marketer leaders, some of the high-rankers.  There were 12 of them that I was fortunate enough to listen to.  I heard some amazing stories and most importantly (and of most interest to me) what they did to get to the top.

There were many similarities of course; sharing the product, having classes, speaking to people, etc…  But the one that EVERYONE spoke on was building relationships.  This really is the key in any business building.  Doesn’t matter if you are a Network Marketer, running a brick & mortar, or have an Etsy business.  Relationships are the number one way to build a clientele that wants to come back to you.

But there are many people that don’t know how to build relatinoships.  Now the relationship is part of the customer experience.  That starts early and doesn’t even have much to do with you.  It’s the advertisement in the paper, the ads on Facebook, the signage when you drive by the store,  the t-shirt someone is wearing.  Those are the beginnings of the experience.  But this post isn’t about the entire process, that’s an 8-week course right there!

The relationship is the personal aspect, when you are face-to-face or even messaging online.  That is where the relationship is building.  It can either be built poorly with bad structure or build strong with a solid foundation.  Either way, it’s building but you decide how it’s to be built with your customer.

The best way to build a relationship is to listen.  I read ads, comments, articles, blogs, and posts all day of people selling.  Probably 1 out of 10 is actually focused on the customer whereas the rest of everyone is trying to just push their product and focused on what they can do the for the customer.  The focus for the customer needs to be what they want and how you can deliver it.  The only way to know that and to deliver it is to listen.

What do they want vs. what they are saying.  If a customer says “I want my water heater to work” they are most likely want to not have to take a cold shower at 6am in the middle of winter.  Instead of delivering them a brand new water heater or a specific part; you can offer them what they want which is that new part to be installed by a trusted technician that will have hot water running in 1 hour so when they wake up they can have the steamy shower they are aching for.

That is listening and that is what the customer wants.