How to increase recurring revenue

Business people smiling with a client around a table
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Have you ever been pushed into buying something that you really didn’t want? Most of us have.

  • Maybe it was a salesperson over the phone cold calling you to upgrade your phone contract.
  • It could be one day you were on the way to the shops and someone’s handing out catalogues for a shop you have never heard of or had an interest in.

Remember the thoughts you might have had during these moments? Someone cold calls you and says, “Hello sir…”, you immediately think “, Oh no, he’s gonna try to sell me something.”

It’s a very one-sided relation don’t you think? Too many people focus on the end result, getting that sale, but do not prioritise the customer journey.

Humanise your business dealings

Many so-called experts claim to have found the secret formula to securing sales, contracts, and business relationships. In reality, it’s as simple as getting people to like you.

People buy people, not products or services.

Nobody is going to do business with someone they don’t like, trust or consider reliable!

So humanise yourself and show the client you’re more than just a suit trying to get to the final point of a sale. When you start empathising with the needs of someone you want to do business with, you will understand their needs. Then you can offer a tailored service and offer something truly beneficial fit just for them.

Transactions vs relationships

Another reason why some businesses fail to close more sales, contracts or build connections is that they fail to establish some common ground.

Let’s take a recruitment agency as an example.

The usual transactional approach

  1. They call
  2. Ask you a few questions
  3. Don’t get back for a while
  4. When they get back, its not the job they had in mind
  5. Repeat step 3 & 4 until they land a client a job

A relationship style approach

Someone looking for a job goes to a recruiter by phone or in-person:

  • Take your name, number and email to schedule a meeting with a time and date that suits them.
  • They take a proper brief and get all relevant information from you first-hand.
  • Based on the brief, they create a profile of suitable jobs.
  • A good recruiter would ask why someone is looking for a job, establish rapport, find out what they’re looking for career-wise, and their expectations from the agency.The recruiter and client now have common ground. Communication is working effectively both ways.
  • The recruiter can now search for refined list of relevant jobs available for that specific person, avoiding wasting time suggesting obviously inappropriate positions.

Clearly, the process of building relationships takes a lot more work than just a phone call and a questionnaire. But the recruiter with the relationship-building approach is likely to get a lot more referrals from previous clients saying that they had an outstanding experience. Because of their more personal approach, the recruitment agency is seen as trustworthy and reliable.

The relationship style approach example is what James Caan, CBE serial entrepreneur, philanthropist and former Dragon, did to grow his first recruitment business.

It’s true what they say, out of sight then out of mind, especially in business. The more you see your client, the more they engage and begin to feel comfortable handing over more and more business. Relationship building takes time, effort and dedication. It’s not a simple ‘hello I’m James, let’s do business’ job.

James Caan CBE

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