We talk a lot about relationship building in sales without fully defining what that means and what our goals and objectives look like.
We have to start with motive. Why are you looking to create relationships in sales in the first place?
Chances are you’re not looking for a new “BFF” but you want to be likable because we know from Dr. Robert Cialdini’s book Influence, there is a direct connection between how much someone likes us and how willing they are to be influenced by us.
The purpose of any relationship is to establish trust. That’s it. Trust opens many doors including effective discovery.
Coffee Worthy Test
I’ve created an application that will help you accomplish this. It’s called the Coffee Worthy Test.
Start by asking yourself, what are the attributes of someone I’d want to have a cup of coffee with? What would you want in that person? I’m guessing you’d want someone who is kind, helpful, a good listener, has a good sense of humor, etc.
Now reverse roles and put yourself in your buyer’s shoes. If you are working with a salesperson wouldn’t you like to have a conversation with someone who demonstrated these same qualities?
Now imagine you were meeting a salesperson who demonstrated those qualities. Would you be ok with the thought of having coffee with them?
The Coffee Worthy Test gives us a different standard for the rapport-building process. It’s about purpose and intentionality more than it’s about technique and scripts.
Another key to great sales relationships is being someone who creates value for others. I’m not talking about creating value only at the beginning of the sales conversation but continuing to bring value throughout the entire process and even after the sale.
Give yourself some runway to be creative here. There are countless ways in which you can provide value for your prospects and customers. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Send a video follow-up message to all your conversations.
- Be proactive in providing helpful resources other prospects and customers have found helpful.
- You are a trusted advisor, think of ways you can help your buyers better understand potentially confusing steps along the way.
Stephen Covey introduced us to the idea of relationship bank accounts in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Like our real money bank accounts, we are making deposits and withdrawals. The same applies in sales relationships, we need to make sure we’re making plenty of deposits because there will always be a time we ask for a withdrawal. In either case, we never want to be overdrawn.
When you combine the Coffee Worthy Test and the idea of being a value creator, I’m 100% confident you’ll be well on your way to creating lasting sales relationships and closing more business. Not only that but you are going to feel really good because you’re helping people make important decisions and changing their world!
Until next time, my friends, learn more to earn more!