The relationship’s line between seller and client
Author: Do Thi Phuong Thao
ID Number: S3342296
“If a client accept to share with you about his/her personal things, that’s mean you are the winner in this relationship”
Turn to the last page of my favourite magazine, I cannot stop thinking about the story were written by an office woman who are successful and beautiful but never feels happy. She bares her heart to talk about embarrassment when she breaks out the limit with client to win a contract. I know to have a good job in the tough economic time at now is very hard and to keep this job is harder, but the price shepaid is too “big”.And these “relationships outside of work” can be both advantage and disadvantage.I had a great chance to discuss this issue with Ms Binh Nguyen, the most experience Banquet Sale Executive at Caravelle Hotel, a well-known five star International Hotel placed at Ho Chi Minh City (figure 1).
Figure 1.Ms.Binh Nguyen – Associate of The Month, August 2013 (Reproduced from Caravelle Hotel Facebook)
Push the door and she come to my table in the coffee shop, honeyed smile while inviting me a handshake, our first meeting happens. Binh owns a sweet and attractive voice. Her behaviour is extremely skilful and charming. She says: “Communicating with clients every day, you must to train yourself as always fresh and happy, to create good impression with them regardless of your fatigue”. Initial impress to client plays an important role in relationship selling process. It belongs to Attracting stage and level 1-Contact from “The relationship marketing ladder”of Andrew Sobel (figure 2 & figure 3). Salesperson needs invest extra time and effort to gain sympathy from the potential customers.
Figure 2.The Relationship Marketing ladder (Reproduced from Power Point slide for COMM2384 – Client Management)
Figure3. Antecedents and Components of Relationship Selling (Reproduced from Jackson 1993)
“How become friend with clients leave effect on business?”
I asks Binh how does she think to becoming friend with clients and how is it influence her work’s outcome?She shares there are various customers who later became her close friends. These relationships are very helpful for her. They considered Binh as the best supplier in hospitality service around city and they also bring to her new customers. Interestingly, Binh and her clients still remain their relationship whether they are not working together anymore. A statement from Hallatt (1979) that: “Real business is simply keeping happy” is truthful with Binh’s situation. And she also supports this point by “If a client accept to share with you about his/her personal things, that’s mean you are the winner in this relationship”. Once clients are not happy, they will easy to walk away.Binh tells me a story, one beautiful day, manager assigned Binh an emergency task that dealing with a demanding as well as longstanding client was vexed by Binh’s colleague who is a new comers and lack of experiences. She was angry, yelling with Binh on phone and asked to stop the contract. But after the conversation with Binh in more than 2 hours, she said: “I really want to stop this contract but you have to show your gratitude towards our relationship, it saved you!” No one can deny the power relationship between client and seller and as Solomon (2008, p.98) asserts that: “Great work is what wins business; a great relationship is what keeps it”.
“Where is the line?”
As a beautiful and intelligent woman, many men including potential clients feel interested in Binh. They often invite Binh to have lunch or hanging out with them and of course, to make customers happy and keep the relationship,Binh should be accept. It relates to service excellence as “taking action to create more value for some else” (Casul, 2013). However, when agree with these invitations, salesperson should carefully and know the limitation. For instance, there was a male client invited Binh to go out at 9pm and she refused but still made an appointment with him in tomorrow’s afternoon. She would pay for this as an excuse.
Figure 4. Excellent Service (Reproduced from Colourbox 2013)
Binh gives me some tips to be an expert in dealing with special relationships
- Always smile and happy
- Take full advantage from relationship with clients
- Consider client’s invitations carefully
Meeting with Binh and talking freely with her does a great chance certainly not existence before. Hope I can remember all valuable things and will never meet the situation on the magazine above.
Figure 4. Proof of life (Taken by author)
Word count (not included title):
Colourbox 2013, picture, viewed 10 January 2014, <http://www.colourbox.com/image/excellent-service-image-4154010>
Caravelle Hotel, “Associate of The Month, August 2013”, picture, viewed 10 January 2014, “https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151681556354102&set=t.1776363402&type=3&theater>
Casul, M 2013, “Service Excellence”, lecture inCOMM2384 Client Management, RMIT University, Vietnam, viewed 10 January 2013, Blackboard@RMIT
Hallatt, T. (1979), “An agency is only as good as the advertiser who employs it”, Marketing Week, No.7 December, pp.17.
Jackson, DW 1993, “Relationship Selling: The Personalization of Relationship Marketing”, Australia Marketing Journal, August, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 45-54.
Solomon, R 2008, “The art of client service”, Kaplan, New York
“The Relationship Marketing Ladder” 2013, Power Point slides for COMM2384-Client Management, RMIT University, Vietnam, viewed 10 January 2014, Blackboard@RMIT