Are your client relationships important to you?
What are you doing to ensure those relationships are rock solid?
At the core of every relationship is heart. Are you getting to the heart of what matters with your client relationships?
Is it me or is the concept of a business relationship becoming the latest in sales terms to have lost any significant depth and genuine meaning?
I believe before anyone throws the term on the business table, they should give some serious thought as to what it really means and how they will execute on it.
The principles from Jim Collins' book Good to Great, can be applied to how salespeople build relationships.
As an example, the “Hedgehog Concept” which means having a simple, extremely clear concept of what is best in your business.
Let me ask you a question, is what you are doing right now something you can...
The Hedgehog Concept is not about a goal to be the best, a strategy to be the best, an intention to be the best, nor a plan to be the best. It is a deep understanding of what you can be the best at. This clear distinction is absolutely crucial to catapult your success!
Let's pause for a moment...
Go ahead and grab a sheet of paper and a pen. Reflect upon each of the following questions and focus solely on what you can potentially do better than any other sales rep. This can become your path to greatness.
How did that feel? This is the beginning of you becoming the best sales professional possible as you develop powerful relationships.
You are operating inside a business era defined by two-way relationships between you, your clients and even your prospects. The deals you are involved in right now are being defined by emotions and relationships not just dollars and cents.
Your clients and prospects are much savvier than in years past. They expect you to pay attention to them. They also have instantaneous and much louder methods of voicing their displeasure as well as the support they're getting from you.
The oldest, most effective strategy is as powerful today as it's ever been; real relationships.
Relationships enhance revenue opportunities, relationships sell, relationships bring in connection and human acknowledgment.
Relationships are not one-sided communication, they create conversations. The countless automated Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn blasts repeating the same message over and over ad nauseam without any engagement takes the social out of sales.
In small doses, automation can be highly effective, particularly if it makes your work more efficient, however; efficiency at the expense of building a real relationship is virtually always a losing proposition.
I urge all you to get engaged. Double down and create the marital bliss with your client relationships. Shift your mindset as engaged relationships translate into increased sales opportunities.
Build true relationships, not just one-sided affairs and watch your sales skyrocket.
In these uncertain and challenging times, the investment you make isn't about money, it's in the relationships you build with your clients. These relationships become sales currency. I encourage you to invest in the relationship economy. You can take this one to the bank!
Integrate the following to move your relationships from good to great.
It saddens me as far too many build a brand around a facade. They feel like they have to act a certain way, appear a certain way and even communicate a certain way.
Relationships are based on trust and trust is based upon authenticity. Your clients and their B.S. meters are extremely sensitive. They can spot insincerity a mile away. Unless you are authentic in your relationships, your clients and potential clients aren't going to trust you. In fact, they'll actively avoid you as they spread the message to all their friends and colleagues.
Your authentic you must be a genuine reflection of who you are. You must believe it. You must own it. You must know what it stands for. You must know your strengths and your weaknesses.
I encourage you to proudly wear those emotions on your business sleeve.
You must walk, talk and breathe authenticity especially in a world full of shallow, empty sales behavior.
People connect with other people. We're human. It is all about the personal connection. If you are 'blowing smoke' up people's backsides what's the likelihood they will trust you?
STOP SELLING SO DAMN HARD
Developing new or expanding upon existing business relationships is not about selling – it’s about establishing trust, rapport, and creating value.
Engage with your clients, communicate with them, add value to their business, solve their problems, create opportunity for them, educate them, help them become better but don’t drop the sales hammer on them all the time!
Stale sales methodologies and disciplines simply die a slow and very painful death.
The problem with many in sales is they still go to market with the same principles and techniques used decades ago. I point the finger directly at management for fostering this to continue to happen. Technology supporting the sales process has clearly changed, however; traditional only strategies run amuck inside a vast majority of sales teams.
Trust me when I tell you that your clients have heard all the sales rhetoric before. They can smell all of your old school closes a mile away. They can sniff antiquated selling strategies, and immediately change the mental channel on presentations not deemed relevant.
There's no one size fits all selling methodology. What's concerning me about sales today, whether you believe me or not, is the lack of truly building genuine relationships. In other words, just plain giving a rip!
LISTEN TO THE VOICE OF YOUR CLIENTS
There is so much to learn when we just listen.
Sales reps love to talk, spout and spew sales jargon crapola. They listen with the intent to answer versus listening with the intent to understand.
As your client speaks are you already formulating the response in your head, waiting for the moment to chime in, not hearing the full message?
Listening is the key to becoming a powerful sales professional inside the relationship economy. Developing excellent listening skills separates the good from the great. When you listen to your clients you uncover their pain points, their business goals, their personal data; all this to do one thing - strengthen the relationship.
Sales professionals become proactive listeners.
In research compiled by The Brevet Group, Only 13% of customers believe a sales person can understand their needs. Selling From the Heart professionals listen to their clients with their ears and hear them with their minds.
IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU!
It’s not about you, your company, your products nor your services. It’s about meeting your clients' needs while adding value. Start paying more attention to them by building real authentic relationships. Soon you'll find out you no longer have a sales revenue problem to complain about.
The single most important factor in creating additional sales - become a relationship engineer. If you struggle to engineer absolutely everything around your client, your client relationships will vanish right before your very eyes.
Real relationships with real meaning build real connections!
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