Increase Sales – Build Relationships
November 21, 2019
Building strong customer relationships is a must for any business in any industry. Although with certain businesses such as retail, e-commerce, or walk-in service establishments (restaurants, dry cleaning, etc.) this might seem less important, building relationships still matter.
The success of any business is understanding customers, how they think, behave, and react. It is important to know what benefits they seek and/or how the business can provide solutions to some type of problem or situation.
Market Before Selling
Closing a sale is a progression of events rather than an end in itself. Marketing is the effort spent to increase visibility, reputation, and awareness of a business. Sales, on the other hand, is the process that turns strangers into paying customers. Generally, a business does not have sales without marketing, and a business can never stop marketing. Every potential customer will not turn into a paying customer, and every paying customer for one reason or another will not remain loyal forever. So, marketing is never ending.
During the marketing phase, the business must know itself. What is it known for? How does the business differentiate itself from its competition? What benefits does it provide to customers?
Build a Reputation
There are numerous ways to market...website, social media, newspaper, email, direct mail, or word-of-mouth. Customers are constantly being bombarded with an overwhelming amount of marketing materials wherever they are...home, work, or vacation. Competition is intense; therefore, a business must stand out from its rivals. One way of doing this is by establishing a reputation for quality, service, and integrity. Whether a business operates face-to-face or online, reputation is important.
Some businesses are more involved in relationship building than others, but all businesses are very much in the relationship business. Businesses that do not understand this philosophy soon find a continuous process of finding customers, losing customers, and finding new customers.
Understand a Key Relationship
There is certainly a direct relationship between marketing and sales. Marketing helps potential customers know about a business and helps the business build its reputation before any actual interaction takes place. The sales process takes place after marketing has effectively done its job.
When a business is involved in face-to-face selling, building relationships becomes even more important. Trying to sell too quickly is a mistake many businesses and salespeople make. In certain industries, when relationships are not developed, there are no sales or sales are possibly short-lived.
Establish a Bond
Trust is established when bonds are developed between individuals. This is more than simply discussing a company's products or services. It is determining what is inspiring a potential customer to purchase and then discussing those aspects. How can I as a salesperson assist you? How can this particular product or service meet your needs better than the competition? Commonality is a great starting point in relationship building. Those who master this art are much closer to winning someone's trust that culminates in a sale.
Make the Sale
The sales process is like an engine. There are many parts working intricately together to make an engine work. Likewise, "closing" is simply one part of the sales process. When sales presentations (whether simple or complex) are properly delivered (regardless of the product or service), needs are addressed, and trust built, then making a sale becomes much simpler.
Take Care of Customers
When a business takes care of customers and has a genuine concern for their welfare, trust is built leaving little room for the competition. It is wise to remember that no one will ever count the number of ads they see, but they will remember how they are treated and the type of relationship they have with a business. Strong relationships made today build long-term sustainability for a business tomorrow.