Magic Words to transform your business relationships

Abracadabra!

Imagine that you could wave an enchanted wand while uttering magic words that transform your business coals into diamonds. You don't need the wand and you probably already know the magic words. The sticking point like everything else in life is that it's not what you know that counts, it's what you do with what you know.

Too many business owners are looking for complicated solutions and overlook the simple secrets of business success. Why have so many uneducated entrepreneurs excelled in business? Because they only understood simple things and applied those simple things passionately. Richard Branson is an outstanding example.

One of the purposes of marketing is to build strong relationships with your clients and prospects. You build (or destroy) relationships with what you do and say. Let's explore the language of good relationships. It costs nothing except your attention to the words that you and your team use with clients and prospects - and with each other.

The three most important relationship enhancing phrases

Please, thank you, and you're welcome. These words seem to be missing in action.

Have you noticed that many business owners and managers are not paying attention to the words that their staff uses? Powerful leaders have fostered revolutions with their choice of words. You can shape warmer relationships by using these magic words.

How would you feel as the customer in the following examples?

Open Sesame! Please
The bank teller stated, "Swipe your card and enter your PIN." It sounded like a command - not a request. The word, "Please", was sadly missing. You dutifully complied.

There is a subtle difference between the wording of a command and a request. But there is a world of difference on the receiving end. One ignites resentment while the other conveys respect.

Shazam! Thank you
You completed your purchase and paid your bill. The seller neglects to say "Thank You". You wait for your change and without thinking you respond with "Thank you" after the seller gives you your change. If you thought about it you would realize that you just thanked someone for giving you back your own money - yet the seller never thanked you for buying from them - for giving them your money. Who should be thanking who?

Are you truly thankful for the business you receive from your clients? Then demonstrate it. Say thank you - and mean it.

Alakazam! You're Welcome
You thanked someone. What do you expect to hear? Probably, "You're welcome." What do you hear? "No problem."

What's the difference? The first is a positive, cheery and encouraging comment. The second is negative, diminutive and dismissive. Imagine the difference between a doormat that says "Welcome" and one that says "No Problem".

The examples above are from retail yet the lessons apply to all types of business relationships. The principles of building relationships necessitate these magic words at any time. Today, uttering these words are made more powerful because of the apparent drought of their use.

If you want to build stronger and hence more profitable relationships with your clients use these three simple phrases.

Please - thank you - you're welcome.

Do that and you'll stand out as extraordinary!

Are you ready for more magic words?

Hocus Pocus! Welcome
Welcome to my shop. Welcome to my office. Welcome to my community. Welcome to my favourite restaurant. Welcome your clients as guests. Guests are people that you are delighted to host. Imagine the magic if you treated your clients like guests instead of intruders. Seed that mindset for your team by placing a welcome mat at your door or hanging a welcome sign on the wall. A host-guest relationship is much stronger than a seller-buyer relationship.

Poof! Congratulations
You could congratulate people on their success, reaching milestones and taking on a new challenge. You might offer congratulations on the birth of a child, a personal achievement or a family event. You have the opportunity of congratulating your clients when they open a new store, launch a new product or win an award.

How do you learn about these events? Talk with them often and listen. Engage in conversations that demonstrate an interest in your clients. What a terrific way to build relationships. Review the media and industry publications to search for your clients in the news. Check their websites for announcements and register the names of your best clients on Google Alerts.

Presto! Happy Birthday
Do you enjoy being recognized on your birthday? Most people want to feel extra special on their birthday. This important date can be stored on your database with a reminder that triggers your birthday wish to your clients on their day. Facebook requires that you state your birthday when your open your account. I know that they make it easy, (almost automatic) to wish people happy birthday yet I'm still delighted to receive birthday wishes on my Facebook page.

Razzamatazz! I'm sorry
Don't get defensive on this one. You only need to say "I'm sorry" when you make a mistake. And you will only make mistakes if you are imperfect - like the rest of us. If you are perfect or believe yourself to be infallible then you can expunge this humble phrase from your vocabulary. Of course believing or acting as if you are perfect is a big mistake which proves the case for imperfection.

When you make a mistake quickly apologize to your client. The longer you take to apologize, the more harm you do to the relationship. When something goes wrong and you don't apologize the implication is that your client was at fault. Good relationships are not cemented with assigning blame. They are cobbled on accepting responsibility. Saying that you are sorry demonstrates your accepting of responsibility.

Often "sorry" is all that is needed. People are incredibly forgiving once you say "I'm sorry." When there is a serious financial or emotional cost to your clients then be willing to compensate accordingly. What you are really doing is investing in this relationship and the positive word-of-mouth payback.

Build stronger relationships with your clients by using the magic words that convey trust, respect and warmth. Rehearse your language and start casting your spells.

The last magic word is from our favourite English nanny, Mary Poppins,
"Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!"

© George Torok is the co-author of the bestseller, Secrets of Power Marketing. He works with SMEs to give them an unfair advantage over the competition. He is available for speaking engagements and media interviews. Call 905-335-1997 Get a free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" at www.PowerMarketing.ca