For a sales professional, building relationships with clients and prospects are crucial. People like to buy things from people they like. It is that simple. I would like to share with you five tips to build effective relationships with your customers and earn their trust:
1. Help and invest time
Just like any other relationship, a business relationship takes time as well. Be patient, and try to understand what your client wants. Listen to their problems, and share your experiences that might help them. In short, be their trusted advisor and the best way to do it is to listen, help and invest your time. Don’t try to sell on the first call. Remember, your clients or prospects are humans, and they want to talk about themselves. Don’t make them feel like a number. Ask your clients about their families, hobbies, and vacations.
2. Know the industry
When you solve a business problem with your product or service, you need to have a good grip on the industry you serve. Sales professionals don’t need to be an expert or guru but they should have a reasonable understanding of the industry, its problems and the value-proposition of the service or product they are offering to the client. It is comfortable for your customers to build a relationship with you when you understand their problems and speak their language.
3. Be punctual and responsive
Your clients should know that you are there for them. Respond to them in a timely manner whenever they need you. This will earn you a lasting and trustworthy relationship with them. Don’t hesitate to respond to a client call after work hours. You should be their go-to person.
4. Be their Ambassador
As a sales professional, you have two bosses – your line manager and your client. I believe that sales professionals should be the ambassadors of their clients within their organizations. You have to make sure that your internal teams are solving your clients’ problems. You have to go the extra mile and get things done for them. For example, if the services, operations or product team isn’t helping the client, your relationship with your client will suffer. Be a leader, fight for them, and get things done.
5. Be Thankful
You should communicate with your client that you’re happy working with them. Send them an email saying that you value the relationship. A handwritten note would be a good gesture. Your clients should feel that they are privileged and royal members of your client club.