Your sales processes are the steps you take from the first point of engagement with a new contact, building relationship with them, right through to receiving an order from them… and then importantly…maintaining that relationship with your customer so that when they are ready to order again, they will only think of you…
So let’s examine the relationship building step of this process in a little more detail… as this is one of the most important and valuable steps in your entire sales process.
We all like to treated well and your customers are no different. The better service they get from you, by being recognised when they call, remembering everything that is important to them and keeping them informed about your products and services on a timely basis all help in the relationship building process.
If we think about how we build relationships as… well… like starting a conversation. We can all enjoy a conversation with someone… however, if they try to sell to us too soon then we will probably will just turn off and close the conversation down.
So if we consider how we interact with people online it can be same. Our websites are like an online brochure, so if we try and take visitors to our website too quickly they will perceive this as selling and they might just turn off and go away…
Our communications might be a face to face conversation or on the phone however increasingly these communications are taking place online, by email or as social media interaction. So if we think about how we communicate with them online it is really just like having another conversation. All of these “conversations” should be considered as a valuable part of building relationship.
A customer might read something that you have posted in Linkedin, Google+, Twitter or Facebook and then either click to find out more information or make a comment on your post. Maybe they will be reading a something you have written on Facebook then click to read something you have posted on Google+.
Because you probably frame your posts in a different manner from one social media platform to the next they can continue a process of exploration. This gives the opportunity to establish a rapport and to build a level of credibility on a particular subject or… just help each other by providing some interesting and informative information.
This interaction with your customer is all a part of the “conversation” process. These all play a part in the process of building relationship.
An important factor to remember while having these “conversations” is to always keep a focus on the desired outcome, or if you like, having a conversation with intent. For you this is most likely about increasing your sales and ultimately your profitability. In the online context the ultimate outcome might be that they will eventually end up at your website and place an order.
Listening to what your contact is saying, whether the conversation is taking place online or in person, will give you a clue about how you can work together, what their requirements are and how you can help them. This whole engagement process should be all about having a conversation with purpose.
Just by listening to what they have to say and making a note in your CRM to jog your memory next time you speak, or adding them to your list to receive regular updates about your products and services will add value during the conversation process of developing a relationship.
As the relationship develops and grows so does the trust level… and as the trust level increases…. well… we all know, it is so much nicer to do business with someone that you know, like and trust.
Written by Bryce Anderson, read more about the author on Google+