Business and Sales – It’s All About Relationships
Updated: Apr 10
If you don’t know it by now, business is all about relationships. This is true not matter what your industry or occupation, and is especially true if you are in sales. According to the Center for Creative Leadership, people who have the ability to build and maintain strong, lasting relationships are more effective and achieve greater success than those who ignore or struggle with this competency. This means that you should spend as much time building and fostering your relationships as you do on the other components of your job or business. Whether you sell projects and your expertise internally, sell for a company, or sell for your own business, make building relationships a part of your regular activities and skill set.
Relationships begin with trust. Trust is the one ingredient that builds strong, long lasting relationships. If you put in the time and work, you will be rewarded. Always remember that people want to work with and do business with those they know, like, and trust.
Whether you’re doing it in person or through your social media and online communications, focus on getting to know people and letting them get to know you to develop trust faster. You want to build relationships before you need them. I’ve had people I met 3-4 years ago come back to me with great introductions to others, or requests for my services.
There are so many things you can do to start building relationships. It’s about being proactive. Here are a few that I share with my clients who are in sales, and they will work for anyone in just about any profession.
First get to know people both professionally and personally. This means asking questions. Open-ended questions are the best. These are the ones that begin with who, what, where, when, how and why. These questions allow people to open up and share information with you, and really have a dialogue.
Be authentically you.This is not just about being your true self; it’s also about accepting others as they are. In these days of social media and virtual meetings, it’s easy for people to create a false persona. The problem is, at some point that facade will fade, which means that any social capital you’ve built with people will also disappear.
Finally be willing to give before you receive. It’s true that if you enter into a relationship without expecting anything in return, it will multiply. Find out what people need outside of your own products or services. This will allow you to be a resource for them by sharing resources, your network, and ideas. People will remember you helping them.
As Lee Iacocca said, “Business after all, is nothing more than a bunch of human relationships.”
Do you want more information on building relationships as part of your sales process? Check out How to Multiply Your Sales in the Next 30 Days with the Clients You Have Now.