This article from CPSA Accredited Partner, Prima Ressource,
will provide you with 3 surefire ways to help you build and nutrure trusting business relationships for the year ahead!
1. Establish credibility and trust
Trust is the foundation of all business relationships. Trust means you can rely on someone to show up and do what they say; it's not just about your client trusting in your ability, but also that their trust isn't misplaced!
This step usually involves spending time with the customer (face-to-face...a virtual meeting with all participants being on webcam also accounts for face-to-face).
The best ways to build trust and credibility are to ask questions and to listen. Simple!
People will relate to people they perceive as being similar to them. It can be because you share common interests or relationships, and also because you share a common vision. In other words, depending on the role of your prospect, you must conduct yourself as they would!
Listening is another powerful way to show that you're trustworthy.
Ask open-ended questions, and always be prepared with follow-up questions if the customer doesn't answer fully or quickly enough! Also, avoid asking too many closed-ended (yes/no) questions; they need to express their opinions freely.
2. Identify compelling reasons to buy
The first step in the sales process is to identify compelling reasons why a customer would want to buy.
Customer motivation is what drives them to buy something. This implies that they must be expressed by the customer, and not provided by you.
Your job is to ask a set of questions that will allow prospects to share their own compelling reasons for purchasing. You will need to use a funnel of questions to make the customer express the following:
- Quantification of the cost of the problem
- Emotional impact
Identifying this early on means you can structure all of your communication and content around it, leading up to closing.
3. Determine the prospect's decision-making process and authority
Sales reps need to recognize how things are done in the prospect's company so they don't keep knocking at closed doors! On the other hand, make sure you don't try to qualify or disqualify prospects too early in the process.
When using a consultative selling approach, one of the key success factors is to qualify prospects so they receive a quote or a demo. Therefore, your goal here is not just about making sure you are talking with the actual decision-maker but also validating several criteria:
- The prospect is ready to make a purchase decision
- Is there an incumbent vendor and is the prospect ready to change?
- The investment and ROI for your solution have been established
- When will the decision be made?
- How will the decision be made?
This step of the process is overlooked. It leads sellers to send unqualified quotes and to waste an incredible amount of time.
These three vital steps must be at the heart of your sales process and you should ensure that you execute them properly before closing the sale! Now is the time to take a look at the best closing technique! Create your own user feedback survey
About the Author:
Since 2012, Emeline works back stage to support the growth and visibility of Prima Resource by aligning Sales and Marketing.
Prima Resource strives to make an impact on Canada’s community of sales professionals at all levels, from associate through to leadership. Prima Resource implements sustainable best practices and process along three axes of sales excellence: people, structure and execution.