It’s Not A Transactional Business | By Chriss Carsello
The people that are successful in this industry take the time, and they understand the value of building relationships. They know that’s the differentiator; it’s so crucial in the industry to build relationships. When someone takes the time not only to get to see a client but genuinely care about servicing them right, that is what makes them successful. That is what makes them different.
The people that do it right, though, won’t let the relationship end right after the sale. I think it’s so important to be there if the client needs me. Especially if accounts are big and complicated, I think it’s essential for me to be the liaison between the client and the service team. For example, I just had a meeting with a client. They are an account that we signed last year, and we’re not going to begin servicing them until June or July of this year due to our contract start date. So that meeting is just a transitional meeting, sales to service, making sure that everybody has been introduced. I want the client to know who it is that they’re working with and, whom they are dealing with. The larger the account, the more complicated they are from a service standpoint. If there are multiple locations, I want to make sure the service team knows exactly what the client expects and what I discussed with the client. Meeting with the service team like this also allows them to ask any questions if there are any changes, but more importantly, it’s a smooth transition.
GETTING TO KNOW EACH OTHER
The industry being what it is, I’m the one that developed the relationship. I’m the one that they’ve been working with, and now it’s just taking the team to say ‘Here’s Nathan Hanus. He will be your district manager. Here’s Marty Kruse. He will be your service manager. Nathan is going to be your direct point of contact other than the route service rep, so if there’s ever anything you need, you can also reach out to me.’
I also like going to uniform sizing events when I can. For example, I went to the sizing we had at A-line Metals. I stopped and picked them up lunch at Casey’s. I met our district manager, Nathan, and our service manager, Marty, there. They took care of all the sizing each individual uniform wearer while they had a bite to eat. On top of the service team, Brandon Willis attended the event as well. Brandon is our sales rep in the Eastern Iowa area and is responsible for bringing A-line Metals on board with CITY. Brandon did a nice job with A-line Metals and we are looking forward to a good long relationship with them. We do uniform sizing events so we can make sure to order what everyone will need regarding uniform.
WHAT IT REALLY IS ABOUT
I think that is what our industry is missing. People forget to take the time to develop a relationship. It’s so important, in my opinion, to build that relationship. It’s not about the transaction; it’s not about the rate, it’s not about what style of clothes you have, what day you’re going to make delivery and all that other junk; it’s the relationship. It’s about getting to know who your clients are, getting to know what their business challenges are, and letting them in a little bit too understanding your business. It’s the about transparency of the relationship and even the transparency of service.
There is no smoke and mirrors. It’s not a trade. It’s not a transactional business, but if we don’t have the right people in the correct positions, they may think of it as a transactional business. This is a relationship business, and you have to invest the time to build a relationship, to get to know people, to get them to trust you and to get them to understand you and your company as a whole for them to want to do business with you. You have to invest that time. I think the people that are successful in this industry take the time and they understand the value of a building that relationship and they understand that that’s the thing that makes them different.