Business Relationships – The Key Differentiating Factor!
I am sure that you have experienced yourself that consumers are much more responsive to suppliers, who have not only a high standard of product knowledge, but who interact with a caring, sincere and attentive attitude.
Often the quality of the relationship that exists between the buyer and the seller is the single most important factor that a customer might require when making a choice between competitive suppliers with a similar offering and price. Therefore building and maintaining exceptional client relationships require that you constantly build rapport, credibility and trust.
So how does one go about cementing a formidable, long-term client relationship? The proven sales professional will apply tactics and techniques that will ensure they establish and maintain a preferred position with the customer.
In our experience, these are just some of the ‘preferred position’ tactics and techniques that a successful sales professional will apply to create exceptional client relationships!
Tips to Creating Exceptional Client Relationships:
- Ensure you are prepared and have thoroughly planned for the engagement
Pre-research the organisation you are targeting. What do you know about the prospect you are going to see? Try and uncover who their existing supplier is and how they feel about the current service being offered?
- Be clear on your objective and your strategy
In other words, are you going to approach this as a ‘foot in the door’ opportunity i.e. start with a small amount of business in order to establish credibility first, or are you planning to pitch immediately for the ultimate possibility? By when do you want to have secured the commitment and what plan will you follow to achieve this?
- Present the very best YOU!
Ensure that your dress and grooming best reflects your area of expertise, attitude and company brand. Arrive on time (early is always good) and have a smart looking pen, notebook folder and well presented business cards handy.
- Listen carefully and pay attention to what the customer is saying
A winning tactic is to always ensure you are able to ‘get into the clients shoes’! Develop exceptional listening skills. After asking appropriate questions, listen attentively to the client’s response. Make eye contact, show concern and understanding with a nod of the head and relevant facial expression. This affirms to the customer that you are truly listening.
- Clarify your understanding of the customer’s circumstances and needs
Never assume you understand their scenario, explore by asking appropriate questions relating to their current situation compared to where they ideally would like to be. Establish the customers view on the impact their achievement of their ideal scenario would have on their business?
- Acknowledge that people are all different and have different motivations for buying your product or service
Being sensitive and responsive to each customer’s individual personality (and buying) style, helps to build rapport and will differentiate you in the market place
- Following through on agreements
To cement credibility and trust, immediately send a ‘thank you for the meeting’ e-mail and ensure that your written proposal is presented in a professional manner on the promised date. Also make the ‘follow-up’ phone call timeously and professionally.
Our highly practical and proven SALES AND INFLUENCING skills training programme offers step-by-step processes on how to ensure preferred position!
Written by Marinda Bohnsack
Business Communication Skills Holdings