Customer Experience News & Trends

5 tactics to establish great sales relationships with customers

Sales relationships work no differently from everyday relationships. Establishing them takes trust. And top salespeople know that establishing that connection with their customers means everything.

They take time to earn a buyer’s trust from the outset of a potential sale, which makes asking for the person’s business just a formality.

Establish trust and an open dialogue

There are no special allowances in sales relationships that allow a seller to treat a customer with indifference and still develop a long-term relationship. Establishing a successful sales relationship takes trust and open dialogue.

Here are tips to help your salespeople establish both:

  1. Forget about the sale. Not for good. But try to put the sale on the back burner of your mind so you can focus on learning what your prospects need and value. You can’t be certain the solution you’re offering is of any value until you know what the prospect is looking for. Giving up trying to impose an agenda and genuinely listening to what is really needed and wanted is the better road to trust.
  2. Ask, don’t argue. It’s a good idea to come up with a series of questions you plan to ask before the meeting. Try to come up with questions that will determine what your prospects are looking for, why they’re looking for it, how they expect it to benefit their businesses and when they expect to have it. Offering solutions that don’t take prospects’ needs and values into consideration will not work. Questions that show genuine interest, concern and confidence go a long way toward building trust.
  3. Listen with your fingers. Taking notes is a good way to ensure that the information you’re gathering stays with you. When prospects see you taking notes, they usually see it as a sign that you intend to use the information to help them. And when they’re ready to talk about solutions, you have an outline of needs to meet and values to uphold.
  4. Seek to understand. Your understanding of your prospects must be solid so there’s no room for presumptions. If they’ve answered a question and you still don’t know what you need to know, ask another. Sometimes you have to ask follow-up questions in order to completely understand your prospects’ needs and values.
  5. Say something new. Try to offer your product or service in a fresh and innovative way. There’s too much competition for you to be selling in a run-of-the-mill fashion. Set yourself apart. Try to determine unique ways to appeal to your prospects and meet their needs. Do something up front to let your prospects know that it’s your primary goal to add real value not only through what you’re selling but also your service.

Adapted from “Killing the Sale,” by Todd Duncan, a sales trainer, consultant and CEO of The Duncan Group in Atlanta.

Subscribe Today

Get the latest customer experience news and insights delivered to your inbox.