How to Get to Know Your Customers off the Clock

We all know that customers are the lifeblood of any company.  Without them, we couldn’t make a sale.  Without sales, we’d have no source of revenue.  Without revenue…you probably see where this is going.

So, how well do you know your customers?  If you’re relying only on basic profile information and purchase history, the answer is probably not very well.  Understanding who your customers are – and what drives them – is critical to building better customer relations.  This information gives your business a competitive edge and ensures that you’ll be able to better meet your customer’s needs.  When you make the decision to get to know your clientele better, you’re making the decision to better your company and your brand.

Host a Memorable Event

Hosting a corporate event brings you closer to your customers (literally).  During an event, you’re guaranteed face-to-face time, which is invaluable in today’s digital age.

A lot of sales people take the path of least resistance.  Sure, a quick phone call or email is easier than meeting up.  But human contact doesn’t need to be reduced to whatever we can fit into 140 characters or tag in a post.  While technology has made it easier to connect with customers all over the world, the real, personal connection, the one you can only get with face-to-face meetings, has gone missing.

When you host an event – say, in a corporate suites with VIP parking, catering, and set-up – you become the most important thing to your customers in that moment.  During a typical sales call or on-line meeting, it’s easy to spend most of the time trying to advance your point or convince others of the wisdom of your position.  Sometimes that’s necessary.

But in a luxury suite you’ll have the time and space to sit back and follow the dialogue.  Conversations, like the wine waiting in your suite, need room to breathe.  It’s remarkably easy to develop a back-and-forth rapport with clients who are being pampered in comfort, privacy, and style.  Suddenly, you’ll notice that your guests are excited to be out of their daily elements.  Mix in a little food and spirits, and you’ve got a chance to get to know the real customer.

Reserving a luxury suite at a concert or sporting event shows your customers that they are well worth the extra effort.  In today’s world, people crave memorable experiences more and more. You and your company have an opportunity to offer a first-rate experience, and use it as a way to grow your business.

Add Value to the Evening

Value is subjective.  It’s personal.  It may mean one thing to you, and another thing entirely to your customers.  The key to making the most out of your time with customers during non-work hours is to maximize the evening’s value.

The payoff for hosting a corporate event is real and substantial.  For starters, it makes for easier future sales.  Customers will look forward to your next visit – they’ll even seek you out.

Well executed meet-and-greets allow you to network with customers in a more casual environment.  After work hours, you’ll notice that clients are more apt to talk about their industry, personal goals, and guarded frustrations.  They’ll see you as a trusted associate.

A luxury suite event is valuable because it allows you to make connections without the pressures of traditional formal networking.  Awkward silence?  What awkward silence?  “Did you see that dunk!  No?  Check out the replay on one of our suite TVs!” (pun intended).

Listen to your Customers

Most business professionals love to talk about their company.  You can explain why “you’re the best” until you’re blue in the face: you’ve got the sales figures, charts, graphs, Power Points, etc. – all the requisite tools of the trade.  But the best salesmen know that listening to customers – really listening – is one of the most powerful sales techniques in the tool belt.

Communicating with a customer is like communicating with your significant other – if you don’t listen as much as you speak, you’ll never reach a mutually satisfactory conclusion.  Listening for sales is an active process, not a passive one.  It’s tempting, of course, to want to dominate the conversation.  After all, you have an objective in mind and all the information that you think the customer needs to hear.  But if you don’t listen, the customer will think that your only priority is to make the sale.

Instead, demonstrate to the customer that they aren’t just another number or potential commission. Use your time together in our luxury suites to show that you’re invested – not just in your own success – but in giving the customer the personalized experience they deserve.

Give Thanks and Follow Up 

Your successful corporate event – whether held in a suite at MLB, NFL, or NHL games, or a Billy Joel, Maroon 5, or Taylor Swift concert – wouldn’t have been possible without the customers who’ve attended.  Once the evening has passed, show them gratitude by sending an old-fashioned hand-written thank you note.  Ask them if there is anything else you can do for them.  It’s important in the digital age to acknowledge that you could not be as successful as you are without the customers that support your business.