A common thing to say in sales is, “People buy from people they like.” True. Another over-used phrase: “People buy from people they trust.” Can’t argue that. Like & trust are important things to strive for in sales. Good end game goals. But you don’t start there. You start by helping people become comfortable with you. That takes people skills. Let’s work on the things we can do to help people become comfortable with us. Let’s develop relationships in sales. Hard to do on social media. If you still get face-to-face with prospects & customers, it’s important to build relationships. Can’t argue that one either.
7 Tips to follow while building relationships in sales:
- Get to know your clients: How many of your customers do you really know? Really know! Did you know you are allowed to get to know them? Of course, you did. But, how many do you really know? Ask them questions. You know that people love to talk about 2 things; themselves & their families. Start there. Ask about jobs, interests, hobbies, spouses, kids, sports, etc. But be genuine! There’s nothing worse than when someone asks questions but “clearly” does not care.
- Stay in touch with customers: Keep up with people. It sounds so basic, but we’re starting to forget how to do it – Social Media is making sure of that. If you don’t talk to someone for months, you’ll fall off their radar, or they may not immediately jump at the chance to help you when you finally reach out to them & ask. How often do you call your favorite clients? Other clients?
- Be curious: Genuinely curious. Ask questions – but only about things you have a real interest in. It’ll show if you don’t. When you’re interested in people it makes them feel good – really good. This is about making people comfortable with you. When people are comfortable with you it doesn’t feel like you’re selling. It doesn’t even feel like work. Show a genuine interest in others.
- Build trust: Never take advantage of people. It’s crazy that this is even on the list – but it is. It’s the quickest way to ruin a relationship and build a bad reputation that can harm other relationships too. The key to building trust is being honest. When you are willing to forego your own interests to help someone else, they know they can rely on you. Do the right thing & be dependable, & you’ll see your relationships grow.
- Focus on giving: Think of this: many people want to build relationships so that they can have someone to help them out when they need it. Try to have a less “what’s in it for me” Always think about how you can help other people (especially clients). They’re far more likely to return a favor than they are to go out of their way for you, especially early in your relationship.
- Focus on quality, not quantity: You can’t be “besties” with everyone – so don’t even try. Have solid relationships with some people. There is no need to spread yourself so thin that everybody knows you (but nobody likes you). There is a lot to be said for quality over quantity. Don’t overwhelm yourself trying to keep up with too many new people.
- Keep records of those you have spoken with: If they’re online contacts on a digital network, keep your conversations going. If they’re clients or other people with whom you’ve swapped business cards, send an email or make a call every month or so. Check in & say hello. If you tend to forget to make, or worse, return calls or emails, use a task management system or calendar to remind you to call or write.
But all of this takes time. It’s work. It’s hard. No question. If it’s not important to you then you will never do it. If it is important you will find a way. Or you can go into an internet-based business where you never have to talk to anybody. Just be an order-taker. See how well that works for you.