I heard a really great term this week: “Customer Intimacy.” Now, I know this is not an original term, nor is it new, so I did a quick Google search and of course I received about a million hits on the term, so allow me to share with the ToddCohen.com sales community my “in the moment” thoughts on customer intimacy.
I have written many times about the idea that we as members of the sales community must create awesome relationships with clients and prospects. I have also postulated that this is perhaps the most important part of being a great sales professional. In a recent conversation with a sales professional, I noticed that he used the term customer intimacy in the context of creating a great relationship with his clients! He takes great pride in having meaningful conversations and interactions with his clients that are about more than business and the issue of the day. I have to admit I really like this phrase because it truly implies that a higher level relationship has developed. To me, this means that a sales professional and his or her client have truly developed a trusting, communicative, and durable relationship.
I began to really think about the professional relationships I have developed over the years. I know that as a sales professional, I have often taken the approach that clients could be friends. Now, it is obviously not practical that every client or prospect we have encounter over the years could be a great friend as well; I have met and worked with some amazing and wonderful people (and yes, some at the other end as well) and take great pride in having developed lifelong friendships with some of them. To me, that is one type of customer intimacy. The client and I have developed a level of trust and caring that made it easy and fun to do business – and we wanted to be friends as well. That is when selling is fun.
Customer Intimacy also means the ability to understand every aspect of a client’s business and challenges, and that you have the respect and trust of the client to do the right thing. No questions asked. They take your calls, answer your emails, and will happily engage in any conversation and you enjoy doing business with them. As sales professionals, don’t we want to do more for the clients whom we have achieved a level customer intimacy with? Further to the point, don’t you think that those clients want to do more to to help you succeed?