“Relationships feed on credibility, honesty, and consistency.”
Your client relationships feed off credibility, honesty and consistency.
In turn, your reputation is based upon credibility, honesty and consistency.
Are you truly building client relationships while influencing the way they think?
Dale Carnegie once said, “Act enthusiastic, smile, become genuinely interested in other people, and don’t criticize, condemn or complain.”
He put these principles into play as he brought the classic, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” to the masses.
This book was written in 1936 and is still applicable today.
The core foundation was around building relationships and changing the way people think.
This still applies today.
Carnegie said, “One can always hire technical ability, but the person who has technical knowledge plus the ability to express ideas, to assume leadership and arouse enthusiasm among people – that person is headed for higher earning power.”
Here at Selling from the Heart, you will often hear me say that sales professionals are leaders. Leaders inspire and influence people to see and achieve things they believe they couldn’t realize on their own.
No think of your clients… Are you inspiring and influencing them?
Have you ever wondered why some salespeople have more influence than others? It’s because they invest more in others. Those salespeople with leadership influence have poured into others by consistently, directly or indirectly contributing to their client relationships.
Nothing is more valuable than the quality of your relationships.
Whether you realize it or not, the success you have in sales and in your personal life will largely depend upon your capacity to establish meaningful relationships, influence and add value to your relationships.
“Three-fourths of the people you will ever meet are hungering and thirsting for sympathy. Give it to them, and they will love you.”
What are you willing to give to your clients?
The best relationships, now think of your clients, are not built on the backs of others, but built by helping others succeed. It’s by pouring into others and assisting them in reaching their goals and objectives, and by this you will find success.
Therefore, what are you willing to do to help your clients become better?
IT STARTS WITH CONVERSATIONS
Becoming successful in sales requires consistency. Sales professionals double-down by making intentional conversations with their clients a number one priority.
These are meaningful two-way conversations showing a genuine appreciation for and interest in their ideas and success.
As you start thinking about your client conversations, stop for a moment and ponder some of the golden rules as outlined inside “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”
- Give honest, sincere appreciation
- Be genuinely interested in other people
- Remember and call people by their name
- Ask good questions and be an attentive listener
- Encourage others to share about themselves and their thoughts and feelings
- Help others feel important, and do it sincerely
- Show respect for another person’s opinions
- Begin in a friendly way
- Be encouraging
- Let others do a great deal of the talking
- Commit to understand what others think and their reasoning
Conversations build relationships. Relationships drive business. Are your conversations inspiring and influencing your clients?
Imagine having a client conversation plan… Make every conversation with your clients count.
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
Follow along with me for a moment as we put a Selling from the Heart twist onto this legendary quote…
You can build more authentic relationships in two months by becoming more interested in your clients than you can in two years by trying to get your clients interested in you.
In today’s business climate its incumbent amongst all salespeople to both earn and keep the loyalty and trust of those whom they lead, and that would be their clients.
Bottom line, without relationships you will not survive in sales. Influential and inspiring salespeople know this. They understand the bedrock of relationships are built upon trust, stewardship, care, concern, service, humility, and without this they will become replaceable.
Plain and simple, if you add meaningful value to your client’s lives, you will start accumulating their trust and loyalty.
When this starts to happen you will have created a bond that will stand the test of time, survive mistakes, challenges, and downturns.
BUILD INFLUENTIAL CLIENT RELATIONSHIPS
“Business happens over years and years. Value is measured in the total upside of a business relationship, not by how much you squeezed out in any one deal.”
Therefore, if you want meaningful client relationships, crave relationships and this means something to you, then you must be direct, intentional and influential.
The late great Zig Ziglar said, “If they like you, they will listen to you. If they trust you, they will do business with you.”
Relationships create loyalty, relationships create partnerships and relationships create referrals.
Influence is relationship-oriented. Relationships are built on a foundation of trust.
I’m here to inform all those in sales… just because people buy something from you and then you occasionally “check-in” with them, does not constitute a relationship.
Think about the following and let it sink in for a moment…
Transactional conversations lead to transactional relationships, which will always be replaced by a better transactional conversation.
A healthy relationship is when two people develop a connection based on:
- Mutual respect
- Good communication
Reflect upon this for a moment… How can you build influential value with your clients?
Client relationships are a necessary part of a healthy business.
In healthy relationships you:
- Can express yourselves to one another without fear of consequences
- Trust each other
- Are honest with each other
- Maintain and respect each other
- Feel secure and comfortable
What makes a great client business relationship?
I’m deeply concerned that the concept of a client business relationship has become lost inside the sales world.
There’s minimal, insignificant depth and genuine meaning. The walk doesn’t match the talk.
What many in sales think is a relationship, may not be what it really is.
Harsh as this may sound, it is stone cold reality. Without inspiration and influence where do you think most of your so-called client relationships end up?
GET PERSONAL WITH YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
Marcus Lemonis is a self-made millionaire, the host of the CNBC show “The Profit” and the CEO of Camping World. He refuses to believe business isn’t personal and has often been quoted, “This idea that business isn’t personal is total BS. Business is personal,”
He goes onto to say,
“I’m a big believer that in business, consumers will rally around a cause or a story or some personal connection that they have,” – “People like to do business with people. It’s OK that you amplify who you are, that’s how I make a connection with you [as a consumer].”
I encourage all you…
- Be Authentic – The foundation of trust is authenticity.
- Serve first – Be on the lookout to serve even if it doesn’t pay off for you.
- Your clients are humans, not numbers – Listen to them and learn from them.
- Make it personal – Surprise and delight your clients
It’s time to wake up and stop taking advantage of your most precious asset, your clients!
INSPIRE AND INFLUENCE, THE RELATIONAL GLUE
“The only way to influence people is to talk in terms of what the other person wants”
Therefore, the purpose of developing influence with your client’s is not to manipulate them for personal gain, but rather to facilitate for mutual benefit.
I encourage you to build a relationship development plan built upon service, trust, giving, and adding value; then rinse and repeat it over and over and over again.
Before you all start whining and complaining about how much time this will take, I ask you to consider the potential rewards at stake… Can you afford not to do this?
Inspiration and influence… it’s a terrible thing to waste on your way to sales success.
Originally published on Larry Levine’s LinkedIn.