“Sweat equity is the most valuable equity there is. Know your business and industry better than anyone else in the world. Love what you do or don’t do it.”
Let’s take this quote, courtesy of Mark Cuban and place a bit of a sales spin on it for a moment…
How many of you know your client’s business better than one of your competitors?
How well do you know their industry?
Do you HONESTLY love what you do?
The relational equity you build with your clients might be the difference between just getting by and sales longevity.
Relational equity builds sustainable sales growth.
Addington Consulting defines relational equity as,
“Something that is carefully cultivated and preserved by those who desire to influence others. It is an intentional investment in relationships over time that causes others to trust.”
In a world where trust and credibility are scarce, building relational equity is about the time, goodwill and value you invest in relationships, expecting nothing in return.
If you introduce two people and they serve each other, you are building relational equity.
However, and the key to all of this is, “expecting nothing in return”. This is at the heart of growing relational value.
Inside the relationship economy, the goal is to give, void the motive to get. In biblical terms, what is sown in the Spirit will uniquely create an attractive, abundant life.
How can you apply this to building relational equity with your clients? As you engage with and listen to your clients, uncover ways to connect them to someone or a resource to make them successful.
To serve is the essence of what it means to sell from the heart.
Your service can be as simple as, “I know someone who is skilled in what you need to do, would it be alright if I bridge an introduction, asking their permission for you to speak with them?”
Meaningful relationships with your clients do not happen overnight.
Relationships deepen over long periods of time and transparency. One key ingredient to lasting, worthwhile relationships is trust.
Trust is based on radical honesty and being real with someone; not having to worry. Trust grows through intentionality and not a facade.
Relationship equity is your new sales development lead magnet.
Relationship equity is cost effective.
Everybody knows somebody.
Relational equity sets you apart.
Making genuine investments in relationships is the key to building relational equity.
BUILD EQUITY AND INVEST
Relationships are like bank accounts. There are deposits and withdrawals, with daily balances reflecting where things are presently.
If you’re not careful, you can end up with overdraft charges with your clients because of insufficient funds in your relationship account.
Are you assessing your client relationships? What is the overall health of these relationships?
Do your relationship accounts have high balances with great engagement, healthy and meaningful conversations, or are they in overdraft protection?
To build relational equity means you must make daily deposits. This requires discipline, extreme focus and consistency.
You reap what you relationally sow
Question for the sales world…
Why have salespeople become lazy when it comes to maintaining their client relationships?
Client retention, loyalty and the equity you build are foundational to your sales survival.
When it comes to building relational equity, think about this quote…
“There is absolutely nothing that can be taken for granted in this world.”
Robert Anton Wilson
BUILD RELATIONAL EQUITY
Relational equity development will 2x your sales growth.
For this to happen, you must truly care. You must give a rip about bridging the relational divides and perception that exists between your clients and how they view salespeople.
Here are three helpful tips to increase your relational equity.
UNDERSTAND THE VALUE YOU BRING
Reflect on this for a moment…
- How do you really know you are delivering value?
- Are you really giving your clients what they value better than your competitors?
Are you sure?
In this competitive landscape, you cannot assume any longer. Just because your clients continue to do business with you year over year doesn’t mean anything any longer. All this means is they don’t know any better than what they know.
When is the last time you asked your client’s “What value do I, our services and our products create for you?” I am waiting for your answer, still waiting, still waiting; this is what I thought – it has been a while.
Grab a sheet of paper, ask yourself these two questions and then write down your responses to:
- How do I help my client’s gain a competitive advantage?
- What is my client’s perception of value in working with me?
To understand the meaning of value, you must first put yourself in their shoes and see the world through their eyes.
Think about the equity you can build upon.
ALLOW YOUR CLIENTS TO REALLY GET TO KNOW YOU
Creating true, authentic and genuine relationships by spending informal time with your clients helps to bridge relational gaps. This will build massive amounts of relational equity.
Do you really know your client’s and do they really know you?
With all sincerity, when you get to know your clients inside and out and they get to know in the same fashion, you can hyper personalize the attention you give them.
I am believer that true leadership in sales is your ability to affect change and influence inside your current accounts.
The more you can lead with a servant’s heart the better off you will be. Open your heart, go first, and share a piece of you.
TREAT YOUR CLIENTS AS VALUED CLIENTS
“How you think about your customer influences how you respond to them.”
Do you view your customers as customers, or do you view them as clients? How many view them as clients but treat them as customers? Ponder that one for a moment!
Are you building customers or are you building clients?
Customers buy things and clients seek advice!
Therefore, are you treating your customers as a means to sell your products or are you treating them as clients who value your insight?
Value is in eye of the beholder.
If you want your clients to value you and what you bring to them, then think about how you treat them, educate them and help them to do better business.
REFRAME YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
Are you willing to make the investment?
By building relational equity, you will strengthen relationships, command premium prices, develop brand loyalty (YOU), create a loyal following thus generating more revenue over the lifetime of the relationship.
This my sales friends drives long term sustainable growth,
“Always remember that everyone with whom you have a relationship has an invisible sign on their forehead that says, ‘Make me feel important.’ Treat them accordingly.”
Eric Philip Cowell