Running a small business can be difficult. Business owners will know that in order to keep a company running, they need to have customers to purchase their products. It is often retaining a constant stream of customers that proves difficult.Communications and sales expert Dario Cucci has been transforming businesses across Europe by improving their customer services process. London-based Dario Cucci works with businesses by identifying problems with their current sales strategy and focuses on generating long-term revenue. Over the last 15 years he has developed and refined a relationship sales system that teaches businesses how to improve communications with customers and sustain sales. He explains, “Keeping a customer happy and loyal is much less costly than finding a new one. It seems all of the big corporations in the world are spending hundreds of millions on marketing to acquire new customers. If sales-driven customer services was that easy, wouldn’t every business be doing it? “One of the key elements to keeping customers is nurturing and growing the relationship you have with them. If you rely on automated services, it’s unlikely you’ll a change in your sales. People want to talk to people, it is as simple as that. You will need to start a conversation with a potential customer. This may seem daunting at first, especially when you are cold calling. Put all your negative thoughts and fears to the side and tell the potential customer briefly what you do. This way you can gauge their interest quickly and time is saved for both. “It is important that once you have gained a customer you continue to build on your relationship. More often than not, an entrepreneur will immediately be looking for the next customer to introduce to their services. This leaves the current customers feeling neglected. The only time they are communicated with is when you have to ask for payment, they have a problem or you have a new product to sell. Imagine you have been on a fantastic first date and then do not speak to them for six months. You could call up and ask to borrow some money. They will question why they should give you money and are likely to say no. It’s exactly the same with businesses – why would they buy from you again if they experienced bad customer service? “Automation will not solve your problems either. Social media and emails are impersonal. It feels as if you are talking at the customer rather than with them. You need to speak to them. This grows trust and increases your chances of repeat sales and recommendations. Additionally, you need to listen to your customers and understand what their needs are. You can then offer a product that they really need. It is a skill to be flexible in conversation and it’s something that can definitely be learnt with the right training. “The timing and nature of the follow up is crucial. If a customer has a great experience but no communication, they will start looking elsewhere. A suitable Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system will be able to help trace the history of conversations and show when the customer was last spoken to. This also gives a good indication as to what a customer may be looking for in the future. It is helpful to have an expert identify the best system for your business and see where improvements can be made in your sales process.” Dario Cucci is well-accomplished in the psychology behind sales and has extensive experience in the industry. His process has helped businesses grow their profits three-fold through training in leadership, negotiation, management, service, selling and customer service skills. He is currently writing his first book which will reveal the best customer services and it will be released next year.