“Equity is the only acceptable goal”

Paul Farmer

What is an acceptable relationship with your clients?

How would you define it?

How would you clarify it?

What does it look like?

Whether you are a sales leader or sales professional, I’m here to inform you… Building relational equity with your clients is the gift that keeps on giving.

As defined by Dictionary.com, equity being defined as:

  • The quality of being fair or impartial; fairness; impartiality
  • Something that is fair and just

Now, apply equity as defined to your client relationships, and then ask yourself…

Have I been fair and impartial with my clients, really?

We all agree and acknowledge the importance of client relationships, but what are you doing to dig in, building a fortress around your relationships.

Relational equity is your new lead magnet. Are you a sales professional who attracts or a sales rep who repels?

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.

RELATIONAL EQUITY STRENGTHENS TRUST

Trust is based on radical honesty and being real with someone; not having to worry. Trust grows through intentionality and not a facade.

Relationships evolve, and when value is consistently added to your client’s life, combined with authentic communication, a long-term connection is created.

Trust, time, connection, authenticity, intentionality, and meaningful value become the key ingredients to relational equity.

I love this quote courtesy of Santosh Kalwar,

“Trust starts with truth and ends with truth.”

Therefore, the more time you spend with your clients, the more intentionality you bring to the relationship, walls are soon replaced by bridges, and bridges become the pathway to incremental sales revenue.

Advantages of building relational equity with your clients:

  • Creates harmony
  • Opens-up new sales opportunities
  • Reduces client attrition
  • Attracts new clients just like them
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INVEST IN BUILDING RELATIONAL EQUITY

Think of relationships like bank accounts. There are deposits and withdrawals, with daily balances reflecting where things are presently.

If you’re not careful, you may end up with overdraft charges with your clients because of insufficient funds in your relationship account.

You must continually assess 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 radical consistency.

You reap what you relationally sow

Question for everyone in sales…

Why have you become lazy when it comes to maintaining your 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

Need I say more?

BUILD RELATIONAL EQUITY, 2X YOUR SALES GROWTH!

For monumental sales growth 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 ways you can increase your relational equity.

UNDERSTAND THE VALUE YOU BRING

A few questions for you…

  • 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 hyper-competitive business landscape, one cannot assume any longer. Just because your clients continue to do business with you year over year doesn’t mean anything any longer.

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.

Let’s pause for a moment… I would like for you to grab a sheet of paper and a pen, 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.

ALLOW YOUR CLIENTS TO REALLY GET TO KNOW YOU

Creating true, authentic and meaningful relationships by spending informal time with your clients helps to bridge the relational gaps.

Do you really know your client’s, and do they really know you? 

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 to become an influencer 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.”

Marilyn Suttle

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.

RELATIONAL REFRAMING

Are you willing to make the investment?

The strongest currency you have is to build relational equity with your clients. The greater the equity the greater the trust and influence.

The lower the equity the less the trust and influence. Relational equity is something one must carefully cultivate and preserve. It is the intentional investment in your client relationships over time that will cause them to trust, count on, value, and appreciate you.

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. 

Those sales leaders and salespeople with the greatest relational equity are the wealthiest people in the best sense of the word.

 Originally published on Larry Levine’s LinkedIn.

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