Think of a bridge. Now think of your business environment.
Without this bridge, your business begins to fall apart. But what is it?
It is the connection, or the link, between your sales team and each customer or potential customer. When the bridge is damaged, your sales start to diminish. Your leads head to your competition to buy from them instead.
Now, turn it around. Say that you build your bridge piece by piece with genuine customer relationships. Once you do and you make those customer-centric connections, you start to build sales. And building sales turns into a pool from which you can find endless success and business growth.
What is Relationship Selling?
How do you start to build that bridge, though? Is there a particular technique you can take advantage of to get to that long-term growth and success?
There is, and it is called relationship selling.
Relationship selling has been around for a long time, but it may even be more important today than ever before. When you use this method, you throw traditional dollar-based selling tactics out the window. You do not only focus on product and service prices, or the details that come with it.
Instead, you and your sales reps prioritize building trust and meaningful interactions with your customers.
This form of selling bases itself on a very human connection.
It may sound strange to think of not giving too much credence to prices and similar details. But when you build rapport with your market, that information about numbers comes organically. As you build relationships, so too do you build sales.
Why Relationship Selling is Important to Build Sales?
You now know a little bit about why relationship selling matters so much when you want to build sales. But there are more reasons that you might not realize yet.
First of all, this type of selling is most popular with businesses like insurance companies. That is, those whose products and services need repeat customers to sell to most of the time. But it is just as important for various B2B sales organizations.
Let’s talk about your existing customers. If you do not emphasize your relationships with them, they often feel undervalued when you start to build your client base. This feeling of being “just a number” can lead them right to your competitors’ front door.
But the added value of relationship selling will show them that you prioritize a working, close relationship with them and thus, build sales.
For potential customers, they will trust you far more as a go-to in sales. They will recognize that they can be an integral part of a mutually beneficial relationship with your business. Relationship selling can catch your potential buyer’s eye and bring them right to your business time and again.
How You Should Approach a Client to Build Sales?
We mentioned this briefly before. But when you want to build sales, your first interaction before you make a sale is very important. Your sales strategy plan here is something you should put some serious thought into.
You do not want to talk about what you are selling right off the bat. In fact, a lot of the time your potential customers have already done some research on their own. You would just waste their time with all that company background. Plus, they have already heard it all:
“Here’s when our company started. This is what we have to offer.”
Rather, build your conversation up with a social element. Figure out what obstacles stand in your client’s way. This builds rapport, which is a key factor in building sales.
Right away, you will also make your relationship about them. When you need something from someone (a sale, in this case), you do not use sentences heavy with “me” and “mine” and “I.” Not only will they appreciate this, but let’s face it: has that ever worked for you before? No.
Once you have all that information, you can paint a picture of your product as the hero of the story. It’s not a pitch; it’s a solution for their unique needs.
7 Tips to Build Sales Through Excellent Relationship Selling
Alright, so you want to build sales. The very health of your business depends on it, as a matter of fact. And as of right now, you understand why relationship selling is the leading lady of building sales.
But there are many stages of the sales process. There are many parties that play a role in them as well, from sales management and reps to tons of external forces. The good news is we have a pro tip for each stage.
Follow these seven steps below, and you can rest assured that you are a good fit for your customer and vice versa. And the best part? You can build sales to a level you didn’t know possible.
Always Be an Active Listener
Rambling sales reps. Ineffective cold-calling tactics. Unclear communication.
We have all experienced something similar to one degree or another. But when you find yourself or your team resorting to these nasty habits as you try to build sales? Forget about it.
You need to be an active listener to build sales and keep them coming for overarching success.
Not actively listening is not as uncommon as you might think. A lot of salespeople fail here due to how excited they are about selling. Others get nervous and fill the blank space with anxious chatter. Above all else, they want to close the sale and lose crucial focus when talking to customers.
Fight that urge to speak without knowing vital details about your customer. Engage in the conversation by sitting back and listening.
Active listening helps you to build trust, understand various points of view and solve problems in order to find customized client solutions. At the end of a conversation, you should be able to reflect on specific buyer obstacles and offer a solution they cannot resist.
Better yet, you can reference these interactions later to tailor a pitch for future customers. You become more and more experienced as you practice, much like all else in life.
Practice Social Selling
A sales cycle can last a long time. Whether months or a year, B2B sales take time and effort. But do not view this as a hassle. Think of it instead as more chances to build a relationship.
The perfect place to start social selling? Online.
Sales reps who take to social media for their sales process outsell 78 percent of their peers. What about consumers who buy from B2B companies? Nine out of 10 of them report that online content affects their buying decisions on a moderate to major scale. Also, 55 percent of those B2B customers research via social media.
So be active there. Comment and like posts. Share external posts on your internal account. You add value to the marketplace that way. You also become a professional name that potential buyers see over and over again. And you will nurture your existing customers with relevant, interesting content.
When you need to build sales, this all contributes to that need.
Reach Out to Clients
2020 was a year that we had nothing to compare to, and it is hard to imagine we ever will again. During that time, you realized something, even if it was just on a personal level:
You have to reach out to people who you want to maintain relationships with. Why would your clients be any different?
Stay in touch. Ask the important questions to get valuable answers. This contact sustains working relationships and builds sales in the future.
Who are your top customers? Who do you value the most for a healthy business? Identify them, and then make it a point to show interest in them and how you can help them reach their goals. It should not always be about sales.
We find ourselves now in an age marked by digital resources. There is no reason why it should be difficult to reach out to clients. Not when a simple touch-base is a few taps and the click of a button away.
Trust is how you get started, how you take off, and how you continue to grow professionally. In sales, you must prioritize it to get the job done and to get it done well.
Your buyers have to trust you and what you sell before you can actually sell.
Where do you begin? How do you grow that trust with current customers and keep bringing them back for more sales?
First, you can use your network and the resources that come with it. Build those trustworthy relationships by way of mutual connections. Word-of-mouth marketing always proves to be effective.
People trust their friends and family’s recommendations more than most other traditional sales tactics. Take advantage of those references as effective ways to get that level of trust you want and need.
Also, establish yourself as an industry expert. Let yourself act as the roadmap that guides your clients to success. There are solutions out there for them, and you can make yourself the go-to for providing them. Make sure they know that their best interest is at the top of your mind.
A one-size-fits-all approach to sales does not cut it when it comes to relationship selling. You need to custom-fit your engagement strategy to your customers’ needs. Make a connection and talk about things that you can both relate to.
What is a hobby that both of you share? How about your favorite vacation spots? Where do they work now and are you familiar with their workplace environment? Did they work somewhere in the past that you can reference?
Common interests, current employment, and past employment are three categories to always bring up. They add an extra dash of personalized engagement that takes you to the top in sales.
A lot of people think that building sales is all about seeking out new customers.
So prioritize those existing buyers by prioritizing their issues. Make yourself available to them when they need support. Then, if an issue does pop up, move “solving them” to the top of your to-do list. And do not upsell while you are helping them navigate through these roadblocks.
A fast and effective solution goes a long way in building sales.
Do Not Pretend (Exercise Radical Candor)
“Fake” has quickly become a dirty word you do not want anyone to describe your brand with. For good reason, too.
“Fake it ‘til you make it” is a popular piece of advice. But again, it is not one you should abide by to build sales. Your customer core does not feel safe or trust in a company that fakes anything.
Genuine connections are the way to go. Remember that bridge we talked about at the beginning? Build it with your customers through candid communication and honest answers. After all, you cannot sustain a mutually beneficial relationship without mutually honest trust and conversation.
And if you actually care and are passionate about what you sell, there is no need to fake anything at all. Your enthusiasm and belief in your company’s products and services speak for itself.
Consumers everywhere want a “real” working relationship with their sales professionals. So stop putting so much thought into what you think they want and be your candid self. It will attract quality customers without fail.
Remember: customers want to come to the experts for solutions in the form of products and services. You can become an expert through relationship selling that builds sales.
So who do you turn to when you need experts on selling solutions?
Easy: you come to Selling Revolution. We build selling systems for your custom business needs. Our pro team helps you increase leads and improve sales training. We teach you how to recruit top talent and we offer endless and helpful blog posts for your success.
But we need your help first.
Open your calendar and select the first date you are free for just 25 minutes. Once you’ve done that, click here. Today is the prime time to book a call with us so we can revolutionize the way you sell.