Success Unfiltered Podcast

building rapport with customers

How well do you know your ideal client? Is the majority of your time spent building rapport with customers or worrying about where your next sale will come from?

Over time, as The Pitch Queen, I have developed a pretty strong understanding of exactly the kind of person I can serve best.

They’re an accounting professional, tired of feeling overworked and underpaid. They know that they want to increase their pricing; maybe they are charging hourly. They’re working long hours, have no vacation time, and they feel sleazy whenever they pick up the phone to try to sell their services!

I know exactly how to help this kind of person, and have made sure that all of my coaching materials and services focus on serving this ideal client effectively. I’ve spent so much time building rapport with customers that I know them like I know the back of my hand.

But like all entrepreneurs, I have to say NO to shiny object syndrome. If I expanded my offerings, I could serve more people. Or, I could enroll a new client that may not be the best fit, but it would increase my top line revenue? Probably not.

Keeping a focus on how I am best able to serve in a way that aligns with my values keeps me in alignment with my business and increases my top line revenue.

This was a hard-learned lesson by Steve Sims, a guest on the Success Unfiltered Podcast. Steve is an experienced concierge for the rich and famous. He’s the guy you call if you want to party with Elton John, or have the Pope officiate your wedding. However, he fell prey to “shiny object syndrome” and is here to share how he knew he’d fallen into it, how he got out, and what he learned about himself in the process.

Know Who You Are

Are you a motorcycle riding, leather jacket wearing businessman with tattoos? Embrace that! Are you obsessed with going to the gym, or meal planning? Embrace it! It’s who you are.

When you unequivocally know who you are, you are able to tap into your deepest strengths and use them to connect with and bond with your ideal client.

Connections are key in business. You will need to be yourself in order to make the connections with your ideal clientele.

If you aren’t tapped into who you are and how you can serve at your best, then you won’t be able to start building rapport with customers.

These deep connections allow you to build rapport because you see eye to eye with certain things. You don’t have to be 100% in alignment with your clients or investors, but if you are connecting on core values, you’re in a win-win situation!

Know Who You Serve

When I help and serve accountants, I know exactly what I need to do to help them be successful.

I’ve studied them: I know their pain points, what success looks like for them, their goals, hopes, and dreams for their business. I’ve built a relationship with my accounting students so I’ve learned so much of what they need.

Knowing exactly who I serve helps me to serve them best!

Steve found himself in exactly this spot as he worked his luxury experiences concierge business. He found that his clientele, while higher-paying, didn’t fit the kind of people that he worked best with.

He found himself not being able to relate to what was important to them. They wanted things that he didn’t see as important. 

Communication and building rapport with customers is HUGE when working with your ideal client. You have to be able to move past what they say they want to hear to what they are really asking for.

Knowing your clients and investors – really knowing them – helps you to meet their perceived needs (the needs they know about but don’t communicate) and the actual needs they are communicating to you. 

We’ve all had an investor or client come to us for a report about something. They’re asking for basic information about the business, and how the sales are going, but as entrepreneurs and business owners, we know that the real question they are asking is “did I make a good investment?” 

Whether you are working with clients or investors, being able to know (and answer!) their most important questions shows them that you’ve built a strong rapport and know them, and will be able to work best with them.

Know What You Want

What do you want for your business?

When you know the direction that you want to take, and what your goals are, you’re able to know if they are in alignment with your ideal client. 

Do you want to live a certain lifestyle? Do you want to be able to purchase flashy cars and luxury brands? Knowing what YOU want helps you know how to get there. You can’t hit a target that you don’t know!

Steve Sims thought he knew what he wanted when he started chasing a different type of client. But he quickly learned that it was not who he wanted to be – in fact, it took looking at a picture of himself and thinking “that’s not me” to realize that he had been chasing the wrong thing.

When he took a step back, and really evaluated what he wanted, Steve was able to hone in on the exact ways that he would start building rapport with customers. 

Did it mean a loss in top line revenue? YES it did! But that lesson is one that Steve is thankful for (like me, he calls his “mistakes” an expensive MBA program), and it helped point him towards the right direction he needed to go to be true to himself.

When you know what you want, you’re able to identify that client that helps meet those needs. They fit what you want, who you want to be, and what you want out of your business.

In Conclusion

Staying true to yourself is so important in business. When you are true to yourself, your goals, and serving people that are in alignment with that, you’ll be able to put yourself on a path to success and satisfaction in your business.

Have you ever had a time when you chased a client or opportunity that wasn’t right for you? How did you figure out that you were pursuing something that wasn’t right? More importantly, how did you course-correct, and get your business back on track? Share more about that experience in the comments!

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