Selling Skills Training

A skills programme by Tremendis Learning

Building Relationships with Clients is Key

Related:    > Building Relationships with Clients is Key <   Focus on Filling Customers Needs   Relationship Selling   Steps in the Sales Process   Traditional vs Relationship Selling  
Building Relationships with Clients is Key

From its inception, the crux was forming special relationships with clients and becoming a committed partner on their journey toward career fulfillment, says Howard Sambol, executive director and owner of this 11-year-old consulting company specializing in career and business development. \"It\'s also critical to have a structured sales process,\" he continues. \"When we first started out, we didn\'t fully understand the steps involved. Now, we have created a real system for building relationships with clients.\"  Sambol also strongly emphasizes the importance of prospects seeing you as an expert, someone who can help solve their problems. \"Bringing all of the elements together is critical:  Relationship, sales process and expertise. You could even say that a proper sales relationship strikes a balance between friendship and caring on one hand, and professionalism and knowledge on the other. We try to always operate from these premises, and it\'s working!\"

When the Answer is No

Even after doing and saying all the right things, you may still get \"no\" for an answer. Sometimes this can provide an opportunity to redirect the sales situation or develop a new proposal. At other times, it just signals that it\'s best to move on to the next prospect.

Here\'s what top salespeople suggest doing when the answer is absolutely, positively \"no\":

  • Thank the prospect for the opportunity to bid for the business. This basic precept is particularly valuable if you also ask the prospect for feedback. What factors contributed to the decision? What did your product or service lack? What did you do - or not do - that lost the sale?
  • Determine whether to pursue the business further. Research shows that successful salespeople have more failed calls - calls that end with a \"no\" from the prospect - than mediocre salespeople. Successful salespeople know when to walk away. They\'ve thoroughly explored the prospect\'s needs, and recognize that the product or service being offered does not meet them.
  • Stay in touch. If your analysis convinces you to pursue the business, stay in touch with the prospect. Send articles of interest, or invite the prospect to events that are particularly relevant. But avoid routine follow-up calls. Phone only when you have information that meets a specific need the prospect is trying to address.

Qualities of a Sales Professional

Studies have shown that outstanding salespeople share certain traits, whether they run their own business or work for someone else. According to Jim Cathcart, well-known speaker and author of Relationship Selling: The Key to Getting and Keeping Customers, whether people are professionals isn\'t determined by the business they are in, but by the way they are in business.

Sales professionals:

  • Are committed to the success of their clients\' businesses, as well as their own.
  • Have clearly stated business and life goals.
  • Take time to educate themselves, and are always open to learning how to improve their sales skills.
  • Spend spare time in sales-related activities, whether within their industry or contributing to other entrepreneurs.
  • Take personal responsibility for both their successes and failures, rather than blaming others for any setbacks.
  • Keep track of their progress, including accurate records of conversations with clients and appropriate follow-up times, as well as their level of activity during each step of the sales process.
  • Are determined and persistent, and don\'t let anything discourage or slow them down.
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