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In the second installment of our four-part series, we met with Wayne Hunter to discuss his thoughts on the importance of relationship building, challenges and how he overcame those obstacles. We asked his advise and insight into what he would offer to individuals looking to start their own business.
Tell us about AvTek Solutions.
Founded in 2004, AvTek Solutions has a strong history, combining deep industry knowledge with technology expertise, to bring tangible enterprise value to your business. Our experts stay current with the latest industry trends and technological advances through training and product evaluations.
At AvTek, we know your time is valuable. That’s why our knowledgeable sales and engineering team collaborate with you to design the right solution for your company in a timely manner. Our thorough assessment and understanding of your IT environment enables us to provide solutions that solve complex business challenges. We provide fair pricing on both products and services so that your company gets the right solution and saves money.
AvTek designs, integrates, and installs solutions that meet mission-critical demands such as: increased performance of your environment, reliable technology that is easy to manage and upgrade, managed services for all sizes and complexities of data management and computer systems, and off-site backup and access to support 24/7/365 for operational environments
AvTek has earned the trust of our clients by being responsive to their needs, paying attention to details, and providing the best possible solutions. Our personalized and professional attitude is what differentiates us from other IT providers, making us a leader in the IT industry.
Q. As an entrepreneur, why is it important for you to build relationships with clients?
A. Clients are the lifeblood of any entrepreneur’s business. A successful entrepreneur becomes a trusted advisor to the client. Without the trust, a client will shop vendor price for technology since there is no investment into a relationship with a partner. With the relationship, you not only create account loyalty but a client is willing to pay the trusted partner more knowing they could get it cheaper from another vendor.
Q. Relationship building is an invaluable tool for business owners. In your profession, what have been some of the most challenging hurdles you’ve encountered when building relationships?
A. As a small business owner I wear many hats. In the beginning I was the CEO, sales rep, consulting engineer and support engineer all in one. As I grew the business, I found it hard to have early customers adjust to working with my engineers or sales reps as they had all their trust and relationship with me. I had to build new relationships for my clients with my employees and manage those relationships to build the clients’ trust in that they would get the same service from my employees as they had gotten from me.
Q. How did you overcome those obstacles?
A. Consistent discussions with the clients, proof in delivery from my employees, and having my employees’ back when clients would create issues to have me re-engage with them instead of working with my employees.
Q. What strategies have you found that work best to build positive and lasting relationships with your clients?
A. Consistency, honor your word, and be willing to accept responsibility for mistakes or issues that you or your team create. A client understands that no one is perfect or 100% correct 100% of the time. However, the first time you don’t own up to your mistakes, you have just lost the client!
Q. What advice about relationship building would you give to someone who is just starting his or her own business?
A. Confidence, honesty, and passion! Be confident in what you are selling or delivering. If you’re not confident in what you do the client can sense it and the door closes. Don’t say you’re honest, lead by example. If you don’t know say so and have a plan on how you will get the answer for the client. As soon as you BS them, the door closes.
Be passionate about two things: (1) what you do and (2) the client’s success! Being passionate about what you do as an entrepreneur is usually the reason one gets into business for themselves. However, being passionate about a client’s success builds the trust relationship that also helps you build your business.
Wayne Hunter is Co-Founder/CEO AvTek Solutions, Inc., Allen, TX