Relationships impact every part of life and should therefor take high priority. In business, however, the relationship between a company and its customers often gets downgraded to a set of numbers and figures. Companies lose the intimacy and trust needed to weather demanding economic conditions and, in the end, lose valuable customers.As Charles Green puts it in How to Build a Culture of Corporate Trust, 'most sales models are inherently transactional. But if you start thinking about your customers in terms of relationships rather than transactions, where it's never about one deal, you'll build relationships.' This guide outlines the principles you should follow for better relationships with your customers.
Listen to what vape dealers are saying.
Step 5 of Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is “Seek first to understand then to be understood”. Communication is the foundation on which great relationships are built. Most of the time however, people try to get their point across and don’t actually listen to the person they are communicating with. This is because most people listen with the intent to reply and not necessarily to understand.
For ecig distributors to establish great relationships with their vape dealers they need to flip this around. One way to do that is to adopt the active listening process. That means actually paying close attention to what is being said, using body language and non-verbal cues to show that you are listening, and then, right at the end, to provide feedback.
Learn from the feedback you get.
Effective communication should provide distributors with a very powerful tool: insight into their customers world. Extracting insight from the feedback you get from vape dealers highlights baseline problems they might be experiencing and will also provide a window into opportunities to develop a larger scope of products and services you deliver to them.
For vape wholesalers, who are serious about improving their relationships with vape stores, getting regular feedback can be a powerful tool to understand the changing needs of vape dealers.
It is important to remember that generating feedback, and insights from it, is only one piece of the puzzle. Distributors must be willing and able to act on the information they get so that vape retailers feel like they are being heard and to make the effort of gathering the feedback worth it.
Create value for your customers.
Value. Knowing that you will go far and beyond what is required to ensure vape retailers get what they really want is one way turn a normal customer into a loyal one. If focusing on your competitors leads to creating a competitive advantage then focusing on your customer leads to creating value.
How appealing a buying prospect is for a customer is a function of its value to that customer, minus the price—in other words, the surplus value that the customer will enjoy once that product is paid for.
Creating value should underline all your efforts as a vape wholesaler. It is, however, a very subjective metric. Different vape dealers will view value differently. Using the feedback and insight gathered through regular communication will allow you to make adjustments to your offering to meet the individual needs of each vape store.
Reward vape dealers for their loyalty.
There are a number of different ways to reward customers to show them that you appreciate their continued support. Loyalty programs are among the most effective and popular means of doing so.
It is a viable and measurable marketing tool that vape wholesalers can use to retain their customers and grow their businesses. It's all about recognizing and understanding your customers. Once you do that, you can gear a loyalty program around their habits, likes and dislikes. Again the feedback gathered earlier on in the process becomes a valuable tool to help reward vape dealers.
Loyalty programs aren’t just about rewarding your customers. They also provide data and insight into purchasing habits which can then be funnelled back into the feedback loop to further customise the products and services being delivered to each vape dealer.
In business, relationships form the cornerstone of success. Whether it is about reaching your goals or dealing with problems; strong relationships pave the way to forward while weak relationships can be the chink in the armor that brings the whole system crashing down.
No distributor is an island. Cultivating relationships with vape dealers is as important a task as setting up an efficient supply chain or managing cashflow. There are however no guarantees and building relationship isn't foolproof. Despite your best efforts, some vape stores will choose to move on to different supplier, that is just the nature of business. But, for the most part, implementing strategies to improve relationships will ultimately improve sales and create value for your most valuable customers.