Business Relationships

5 Keys to Building a Successful Business Relationship

Monica WatsonNews

“All things being equal people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like, and trust.” ~ The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann

One of the biggest mistakes people in sales make is seeing as many people as they can with the sole purpose of getting a sale.  They don’t take the time to get to know the business owner and learn about their business to see if the services they are offering will even benefit the business.  In other words, they don’t give the business owner time to get to know them, like them, and trust them.  Our goal as consultants shouldn’t be to pad our pockets with meaningless sales, but rather, to help our customers by giving them solutions that will help their business succeed.  This begins with building a relationship with the business owner.  By doing this, you can learn more about the business and what their needs are and, in turn, provide them with good advice that may or may not include the services and products you offer.

A good business relationship may not always end in an immediate sale, but the trust that is cultivated will help facilitate future sales as long as it is maintained.

Keys to a successful business relationship:

  1. Meet them.

    While there is no set formula for building a relationship, a good place to start is with a handshake.  Introducing yourself and learning a little bit about them will go a long way in future conversations.

  2. Be an active listener.

    When you sit down with the business owner to learn more about their business, you should never leave with them knowing more about you than you know about them.  Let them talk, listen to what they say, ask questions, and most importantly, care about what they are telling you.

  3. Remember what they tell you.

    If they tell you their favorite candy growing up was butterscotch discs, bring them a bag of butterscotch disks.  If they tell you their child is at home sick, ask them how that child is doing.  Don’t just pretend to care….actually care.

  4. Be honest.

    If they are doing everything right, or they truly don’t have the budget to give you a sale, don’t try to get their money for the sake of a sale.  If they can’t trust you, they will never do business with you.

  5. Follow up.

If the sale isn’t made on the first try, continue calling on the business.  Keep learning about them and their business.  Keep building that trust.  Continuing to have conversations with the business owner shows them you were not there just for the sale, but to help them solve a problem.

Doing these five things will greatly help you in building a successful business relationship, which will typically lead to more sales.

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