Too many times in the world of sales, or as I like to call it revenue development, the road we travel is a one-way street. I feel very strongly that it is not too hard to be a good seller. It has as much to do with the fact that there are a lot of not-so-good sellers as it does being good yourself. And here is the big reveal...if you take the time to understand how to add value to the relationship and not just try to sell something, you are waaaaaaaay ahead in the game.
So how do you develop these relationships? Here is your guide:
- Target clients and people that really make sense to do business with.
- Do your research on that person and his/her company.
- Find a common bond you share; parent, education, interests, city you live in, have lived in or want to visit, etc.
- Reach out with the genuine intent to foster a relationship with that person - if they make sense to do business with, hopefully they will be in your life for a while.
- Mix business with pleasure. I learned this very late in my career, but don’t be afraid to take them to a game, concert, dinner, coffee or just a meet-up at the park with your dogs. This is where authentic relationships are formed over common interests.
- It feels like this is a lengthy process, and sometimes it is, so you need to determine the value of time (and potentially money) this is worth.
- When you reach out, don’t always make it about selling something. Yes, you do have to ask for the business, but not every time you reach out.
- As this person becomes a trusted ally, don’t give up on making the effort.
- If you are in a position of wanting their business, the bonus will usually be on you to continue to foster the relationship.
- It is really nice when this person is someone you actually like, but sometimes you need to realize they may not be someone you will invite to your birthday party, but can be someone you share interests with.
When you make the effort to genuinely connect with someone at a deeper level than just trying to sell them something, they will trust you with information. that will make you a more effective seller. They do that because they will believe that you will take good care of them......and you will.