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12 Ideas for achieving excellent sales relationships

One of my friends and industry partners here in Phoenix asked me to speak about achieving excellence in sales relationships at one of the monthly vendor meetings.  It seemed that since we had fallen on tough times, many were feeling abandoned by their customers and it seemed no loyalty existed any longer.  I put together 12 reminders not lose sight of during the good times or the bad times.

1)      Good salespeople bring positive energy to a relationship.  We can choose to be energy givers or energy takers.

2)      Trust hinges on the willingness to deliver on promises.  Once trust is lost, relationships cannot survive.

3)      A relationships value depends on the customer’s perception of value, not on the salesperson’s definition of value.

4)      To the customer, the top value drivers are integrity, authenticity and consistency.

5)      Effective relationship builders are willing to listen to better understand customer challenges. They ask questions that lead to consultative conversations, which open doors to greater opportunities.

6)      The salesperson’s courage to resolve the difficult situations customers face enhances relationships. This is the ability to put oneself in harm’s way.

7)      The quality of the relationship with the customer is determined by the quality of the relationship between the sales manager and the salesperson.  Sales managers exemplify a company’s corporate culture.

8)      Relationships are enhanced by the salesperson’s ability to communicate in compelling and creative ways.  One sales leader told me how she uses video email prior to a customer visit and follows up with a video email immediately after the call.  Video email is six times more effective than standard email today.

http://www.mediacollege.com/internet/email/video/

http://www.talkfusion.com/

http://www.benchmarkrichmedia.com/

http://www.eyejot.com/

http://www.ehow.com/how_5095829_email-video.html

9)      Relationships demand a long-term investment.  Without it, there is no ROI.  There is no return on ignoring the customer!  Be their partner, not just a salesperson.

10)   There is a difference between a transaction and a relationship.  Transactions create one-time value; relationships create long-term value and a stable business foundation.

11)   Relationships grow through differentiation and the willingness to contribute beyond what is expected.  There is no traffic jam on the extra mile people! 

12)   Good salespeople use smart social-media strategies to enhance customer relationships.  They make it their business to stay connected to their customers through Facebook, Linked-In, Naymz and Twitter.

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Great 12 point list Terri. There is something to be said about professionals who view others more than a paper transaction and an extra sales notch on a quota graph. I appreciate that you highlight the importance of what should be normal everyday human interaction. When we remember those fundamentals, everything falls into place. Great post.

  Jonathan Saar
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Video email is a great way connect with clients, especially in the video production world, which is one reason we started using Catapult (http://www.catapultimpact.com/) in addition to a website video. Not only does it allow you to deliver the video email directly to your customer, but they provide exhaustive back end analytics, from who watched it, where they watched, what they watched it on, when they watched it, how much they watched, and a whole lot more. It's definitely worth checking out.

  Andy Dill

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