While you might not be in sales, the principles of building long lasting relationships touch every industry and every person. Saleswomen and men are very skilled in understanding client needs and building trusting relationships. It’s the only way that truly works.
So we asked top sales experts the question: “What are the top 2 things you do to build long lasting relationships with clients?” Here’s how they do it:
My top two pieces of wisdom are:
- Find out early how they define success, and focus on that intensely. Talk about it, report on it, try new things to achieve it
- Never take the relationship for granted. Work each day to re-earn your client’s trust, respect and business.
Colleen is the Founder and President of SalesLeadership, Inc: A leadership and sales development company. She is also the author of Emotional Intelligence for Sales Success: Connect with Customers and Get Results.
My top two piece of advice are:
- Execute exceptional work, not just good work. Look for the extra 10 percent effort and value you can add to clients.
- Pay as much attention to the sale after the sale. Create an on-boarding process that insures ease of use of your products and services. Continue to check in and hold review meetings to ensure you are always adding value.
Wes is President of The Sales Whisperer: a inbound marketing and sales firm. Wes is the host of the The Sales Podcast, and author of It Takes More Than A Big Smile, A Good Idea, & A Twitter Account To Build A Business That Lasts.
Understand that selling is a process, not an event. It’s why I created The ABCDE Sales and Marketing System. “A” stands for Attract. “B” stands for Bond. “C” is convert to cash. “D” is deliver and “E” is Endear.
When you recognize that the actual money transaction is only the mid-way point you’ll conduct yourself in a more caring, more empathetic manner, which puts the person at ease. That facilitates the sale and puts you on notice to deliver the goods if you want to secure referrals and testimonials that, in turn, creates more leads in the Attract section of the sales cycle.
Here are my top two suggestions:
- I think of what value I can contribute to my client, beyond my own solution. It could be an article, a video or a whitepaper, or even just liking or sharing one of their posts on social media.
- If they share something with me in a conversation (i.e., participating in a race, going on vacation, etc.) I make a note to follow up with them on it.
First I work hard to understand the goals and motivations of each individual stakeholder within my client accounts. One of my favorite questions to ask is: “When we’re raising a glass together a year from now to celebrate. What specifically are we celebrating?”
Then I try to find and shine a spotlight on their wins and successes along the way. Sharing these stories internally helps them and their reputation, and also helps me expand into other divisions, geographies and opportunities.
When appropriate, telling these stories externally also helps them build credibility and their personal brand more broadly across the industry. Not to mention validates the work we do with other clients. Those are some of the most important reasons why I host the Inspired Marketing Podcast.
The top two things are:
- Get to know them and let them get to know me.
- Ask them about their priorities and show them that I am here to help.
David is the CEO and chief sales trainer of Hoffeld Group: a research-based sales training, coaching, and consulting firm. David is the author of The Science of Selling: Proven Strategies to Make Your Pitch, Influence Decisions, and Close the Deal.
Top two things to build lasting relationships:
- Provide value at every customer interaction.
- Sell the way science has proven the brain is wired to buy. This includes understanding The Six Whys® and the Emotional States of the client or customer.
We live in a world of social media, but likes and emoji’s are not enough to create relationships.
Get up every morning asking yourself, “Who can I help today?” Ask this everyday and then take action on it and you will create great relationships.
Almost all of my new client relationships came as a result of me doing something special for my existing clients – often where they could include their friends.
Client Appreciation, in one form or another, has been my best form of business development.
Over the years I have done this in a variety of ways, including hosting events like wine tastings, networking lunches, golf outings, lunch and learns, and sporting events, to name a few.
But the most effective thing I have done that has led to acquiring new clients did not involve me hosting an event. It was inviting existing clients to events which featured great speakers and attendees while giving them the opportunity to invite someone from their network to join us.
Face to face time is vital. With my top 20% of clients I make sure I meet them in person and ideally out of the office several times a year.
This, over the years has turned clients into loyal customers and in many cases best friends. I use Nimble CRM to help me manage the hundreds of key client relationships I have built over the years.
My top two things are:
- I look for opportunities to help my clients, partners and business associates through providing content I think would be interesting to them, providing recommendations, and making connections to others in my network they could learn from.
- I look for opportunities to connect on a personal level. That may be something as simple as sharing a love for coffee or commiserating on the joys of parenting.
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