If you’re in sales, one might think that you’re in the business of a specific product or service. But in reality, you’re in the business of people. While AI and big data are automating and transforming many aspects of the sales process, at the end of the day, people still buy from people and relationships matter. Especially in B2B.
From the moment you first connect with a lead, a relationship is being formed. If you nurture and grow that relationship into something truly authentic it can result in a long-term, mutually beneficial connection. Neglect relationship building and you’ll not only be missing out on one sale, but many potentially interlinked ones in the future.
A Landscape Transformed by Tech
Whereas in the past, leads and prospects had only a basic understanding of various business solutions available, today with the internet in their pocket, they often think they know everything. This can sound daunting but what it really means is that relationships matter more than ever. Your prospects want sellers who can give them more information than just what they find online and they want to talk to a real human rather than a machine. Make it easier for prospects to get to know you through a social media presence that’s more than just sell, sell, sell! Once you’ve gained a prospect’s trust either through relationship building on social media or through traditional communication methods, they will be far more likely to buy from you.
Recurring Business Doesn’t Just Happen
Product quality is obviously highly important in securing recurring business, but it’s not the only factor. Yes, you offer a great product, but what happens when a new kid on the block undercuts you? If the only thing between you and your customer is the fact that your product works well, then they’ll probably be easily swayed by something shiny and bright and cheaper. If you spend time nurturing the relationship, offering great customer service and continually reminding them of why your product is the best solution for them, they’re much more likely to stay loyal. In fact, loyal customers who’ve bought from you twice before are nine times more likely to convert than first time buyers. Clearly, relationships matter and make good business sense.
Good Relationships Lead to New Relationships
A happy customer is not just likely to become a repeat customer but also an introduction to warm leads. According to Nielsen, people are four times more likely to buy when referred by a friend. If you nurture good relationships with your clients, they’ll help you discover new leads and new business opportunities. And while sometimes you may have to ask for a referral, if you’ve truly built a great relationship with your client, they’ll become a brand ambassador without prompting.
Building trust and nurturing relationships with clients takes time and effort but it truly pays off. As you can see, a good client relationship is win/win for both you and your customer. Learn more about relationship building in our Strategic Account Management and other training programs.
Enjoyed the article? Check out the SalesProChat podcast with sales expert Lee Bartlett called Networks of World-Class Salespeople: How to Climb the Ladder to Sales Success