Business relationships are built on the premise of buying and selling and within the audio industry we are often on both sides. Sometimes we are the customer renting and buying services such as talent, venues, equipment, and staffing. Sometimes we are the company who is booking talent, venues, and staff.
There is an old saying that says the customer is always right – I disagree with this ideology as it is often a two-way street between companies and customers to create the most beneficial outcome for both parties. In this two-part series, I would like to take a look at some things companies and customers should do to develop successful business relationships. Relationships that are productive and strong.
Companies service our industry in many different facets; venue booking, talent booking, equipment rentals, staffing, trucking, catering, security, and more. Most of these companies work in broader environments than just the entertainment industry, and they will have more than one customer at a time. However, to be a productive company, it is beneficial to strive to balance old and new customers, maintain and keep up with new inventory and industry trends, and to get creative in how to support the customer needs.
It is easy to get caught up in building new customer relationships – new projects and the challenges those projects bring can bring significant benefits and increase profit. Be careful to not forget to take care of your long term clients. These relationships are already built, but still need to be maintained.
Make sure to tell all customers about new services or products that are offered as well as the new and exciting things happening within the company. The trust has been built for continuous sales so market new and improved services or inventory to support the company. Continue to maintain existing relationships to ensure income. A non-proactive approach can drive customers to the competitors, so take a dynamic approach to building old and new business relationships.
Don’t shortchange the existing customers for new ones, strive to maintain and exceed the professionalism that has been provided in the past as new customers are added to the company’s base. Shortchanging any customer for a one-time exciting show could result in a loss of profit with both the new and old customer going to the competitor next time. Finding a balance is essential.
Business relationships are not a perfect science, but some steps can be taken to develop these relationships to maintain a steady stream of shows and income, which can result in increasing the company’s inventory, services, and capacities.
As mentioned these interactions are two-way so watch for next month’s blog on how the buyer or customer should hold up their end of the business relationship.
Heather Holm: Fueled by an interest in live sound at a young age, Heather volunteered to work productions through high school. As a student in college, she started working in the production department where she learned how to setup and run audio equipment properly. Heather has been working in higher education for over five years in event logistics and projection technology roles. Recently changing locations and moving to St. Paul, MN her job requires her to be a jack-of-all-trades (Audio technician, venue manager, teacher, furniture mover, supervisor, and so much more). With the recent move, Heather is working toward developing a new network and possible freelance opportunities; sharing her experiences along the way.