How To Use Business Relationships To Rock Your Sales!
When it comes to personal relationships many people experience various degrees of uncertainty, trepidation and even fear of commitment. Our personal relationships take many forms including family, friends and dating. The success of our relationships or the lack thereof has a tremendous amount to do with us, the effort we put into them and the degree of importance we place on them.
The author and poet Henry David Thoreau wrote “The language of friendship is not words, but meanings.” So depth or meaning is the language or key to a strong relationship. While there’s an overabundance of personal relationship advice available, it’s worth taking time to consider how we forge solid and lasting business relationships.
FORGING A STRONG RELATIONSHIP from the very first appointment is every salespersons goal and intention, though at times it goes astray and never really occurs. One problem we may need to overcome is the fact that we’re so focused on our presentation or product speech that we neglect to acknowledge that we have a real, live, breathing human being sitting in front of us.
While we should care about the sale, solidifying the relationship will put us in a stronger position to obtain the deal and even cement the flow of business for years to come. The very first thing I do as I enter an office is look around and take note of the individuals personal interests.
The person displays items which have personal meaning to them.
- By taking time to take it all in it gives us insight into who we’re dealing with, what’s important to them and even how we can progress the account moving forward.
- Another important step is acknowledging what you see. If they display an item related to a sports team they love, a picture of their family, an item they picked up while they were traveling, we can put them at ease by tactfully commenting on such.
What affect will it have? It will put the prospect at ease, it’ll show them you care and are not strictly about getting the signed contract. An added benefit is the positive and warm response you receive in return will boost your confidence and allow you to rock your presentation!
What if you have a prospect or customer who you have never properly connected with and it’s more fearful then joyful to visit them? It’s never too late to salvage the relationship and right the ship so you begin steering the sales process again.
When I first started in sales I experienced this firsthand. There was a customer in the Higher Education vertical that each time we visited went off on an angry rant as to why everything was miserable and how our organization was responsible for it.
My Sales Manager perfected the art of not being on time for appointments and I was used to this. When I arrived at the college to meet with our contact, the Sales Manager was nowhere to be found. I received a call as I was walking in that they were going to be late and to go ahead and start the meeting.
As I fully expected to conduct the meeting and take any potential lashings, I knew a different direction was in order. As soon as I sat down I asked the contact, “What do you plan to do this weekend?” The question led to a nice conversation which detailed the upcoming weekend activities and provided insight into the interests and spare time of my contact.
Our conversation lasted for about 10 minutes and then very respectfully transitioned to the subject of business. The ice was thawed and it set the tone for the discussion and the mutual level of respect in which would be shown.
When my Sales Manager sheepishly entered 20 minutes or so into the meeting, they were stunned at the turn of events within the account. The customer ended up being one of my favorites and an excellent recurring stream of revenue.
If you have a similar account where a less than stellar relationship exists consider taking a fresh approach.
- The first step is to change your attitude and mindset toward the customer.
- The second step involves starting off with casual, though meaningful conversation with your customer. You’ll both be put at ease and enjoy how smooth of a meeting you have.