Why Relationships in Sales Matter

Serious question here: How effectively do you believe you could operate in sales today if technology and automation were not available?

According to a LinkedIn research conducted in 2021, sales technology is utilized by more than 91 percent of all salespeople (and just 2 percent of the world’s best sales achievers do not use it). We clearly love sales, and we utilize a variety of digital technologies to handle our own sales process.

This video clearly defines how deep relationships drive sales, so be sure to check it out:

However, because of all of this accessible technology, I’ve observed a troubling tendency in sales: It’s become a crutch for a number of vendors. For many, technology has supplanted the fundamental components of sales, namely, relationships.

Why can’t you sell without relationships?

No matter how hard we try as humans to make logical and reasonable choices, the truth is that every decision we make is made emotionally. What we choose to do is determined by how we feel about it, not by what we think about it (and this is scientifically proven).

The reality is that everyone prioritizes their own interests above everyone else. We can’t help ourselves; it’s a fundamental urge. So, if we want to convince anybody to do anything, we must first appeal to that primal selfishness.

Consider this: If you were going through the mall searching for something particular and someone from another shop approached you and pushed you to purchase their goods, would you be more inclined to buy from them than if they took a second to say hello and learn what you were looking for first?

I’m not you, but I’d be willing to wager a decent amount of money that you’d be less inclined to purchase in the first instance. No one enjoys being ambushed or pushed into doing anything without feeling as though the other person really cares.

But I can’t tell you how many phone calls I receive these days when the person on the other end of the line pushes their pitch down my throat as quickly as they can, without even pausing to connect.

Some words of wisdom for all salespeople: The first order of business is to demonstrate to a client that you really care about them and the things important to them (this is also the easiest way to make friends).

Good news is that today’s technology can make this very simple…

But that’s only if you know how to utilize it properly.

In today’s world, sales success is a direct consequence of understanding how to utilize the resources at your disposal—technological or otherwise—to create long-term commercial connections. In truth, social selling has always been our hidden weapon (even before there ever was such a thing as social selling).

That being said, here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how we utilize social media and social marketing methods to do exactly that.

How to Use Social Media and Social Selling to Build Sales Relationships

Making a “deposit” is the first step in starting any relationship. You can’t establish a connection by attempting to get anything out of someone on the first try, just as you can’t take money from your bank account without first depositing money into it (well, you can, but we wouldn’t suggest it).

As weird as it may seem, the easiest method to make your initial deposit is to just do social media research on the individual. It’s simpler than ever these days since virtually everyone on the planet has an active online imprint.

Use your social media profiles to learn about what’s going on in their world, such as:

  • What they’re talking about on the internet
  • If their position has altered
  • If they’re going to be releasing anything
  • The narratives told by their internet reviews
  • What is the situation with their investors
  • The commercial difficulties they are confronted with
  • Their industry’s and market’s present condition
  • What their rivals are doing

It also wouldn’t hurt to have some personal information about the person I want to connect with (I’ve had luck connecting that way when other methods failed).

Once you understand your prospects’ environment and their pain spots, you’ll have a far better notion of how to make a “deposit” that adds value to their world.

Personally, I like to do this by:

  • Sharing their material with my network to increase its exposure
  • Introducing them to someone who might benefit from knowing
  • Sharing information that people will find useful and beneficial (whether it is mine or not)

The trick is to do it without expecting anything in return or making a crazy, blatant pitch for yourself. Your efforts should be motivated by a genuine desire to assist.

Remember that individuals are first and foremost concerned with their own interests, and they will be more open to those who are helpful. And, since likability is one of the six scientifically proven principles of persuasion, this is an important stage in the sales process.

The best thing is that we now have an incredible array of tools at our disposal to assist us in doing this.

Wrapping Up

If there is one thing you should take away from this post, it’s that although the tools available to connect today are incredible, we must always remember that marketing is, and will always be, a human-to-human effort (H2H). No amount of technology or automation can eliminate this element of the process (at least not yet…and I doubt it will ever).

And, when it comes to “the human component of the process,” there is no better way to put it into perspective than by referring to The Golden Rule. You’re already 90 percent of the way there if you put yourself in your prospect’s shoes and behave in a non-self-serving manner.

Now I’d like to hear from you. How have you effectively utilized social media to connect and develop relationships? What are you having trouble within this area?

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About the Author: Jeff Shore

Jeff Shore is the Founder and President of Shore Consulting, Inc. a company specializing in field-tested and proven consumer psychology-based sales training programs.

Jeff is a top-selling author, host of the popular sales podcast, The Buyer’s Mind, and an award-winning keynote speaker. He holds the prestigious Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association and is a member of the NSA’s exclusive Million Dollar Speaker’s Group.

With over 30 years of real-world, frontline experience, Jeff’s advanced sales strategies spring from extensive research into the psychology of buying and selling. He teaches salespeople how to climb inside the mind of their customers to sell the way their buyers want to buy. Using these modern, game-changing techniques, Jeff Shore’s clients generated over $30 billion in sales last year.