In sales, as in life, quality relationships are built on simple principles like trust, dependability, and communication.
In sales, shallow relationships are short-term and low-profit. Qualifying prospects and turning them into clients requires a large investment of time, effort, and money. Building quality relationships with them, relationships that keep them coming back for years, costs almost nothing. For a salesperson looking for long-term partners, instead of short-term customers, quality relationships are key. Developing and maintaining quality relationships isn’t difficult, and doesn’t require any specialized training. In sales, as in life, quality relationships are built on simple principles like trust, dependability, and communication.
When a customer talks, they’re giving you all the information you need to start building quality relationships. They’re telling you about their lives, about their feelings regarding your products, and about any obstacles preventing a purchase. Listening to, and remembering, the things they tell you can help you nurture the sales relationship. After any conversation with a prospect or customer, you should be taking detailed notes. When you communicate with them again, you won’t be starting over from scratch. The fact that you remembered their kids’ names, or where they work, or their favorite sports team can go a long way toward furthering the relationship.
Nobody likes to feel like they’ve been left in the dark. Communicate with your clients, and keep them up to speed on any issues that affect them. Whether it’s new product roll-outs, or shipping information, customers want the details. If they have to go find the details themselves, they won’t feel like anyone is looking out for them. As the salesperson, you’ll be their primary contact with the company. If you’re not keeping them in the loop, who will be? If you want to build quality relationships with clients, you need to take responsibility for their comfort and confidence in your company. Keeping them up to speed on important issues is a great way to do just that.
Maintaining a schedule gives clients a sense of consistency. Unpredictability can lead to a lack of confidence in you and your company. If you’re frequently out of the office, or away from your desk, and give no other means of contact, the client can get the sense that you’re unreliable. Nobody wants to build quality relationships with unreliable people. Put aside a set time every day for talking with existing clients. Advertise this time to your clients, and try your best to stick to it. Knowing when and where to find you if they have an issue can be a comfort to clients, even if they don’t have any issues.
All quality relationships must be built on a foundation of trust. Without trust, the client won’t feel comfortable with you or your products, and will quickly move on. Trust is easy to build, but almost impossible to rebuild. Once it’s lost, it’s usually lost forever. Building trust is as easy as doing what you say, when you say you’ll do it. Don’t make promises you can’t keep, and keep the ones you do make. Address your clients’ issues to the best of your ability, and let them know the outcome, whether it’s good or bad. Hiding from bad news won’t make it go away, and every minute they’re left waiting is another minute your clients’ doubt is building. Without trust, there are no quality relationships. Without honesty, and a little effort, there is not trust.
Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.