Want to Build Relationships With Your Sales Process? Have Conversations
Most businesses are only focused on building leads and repeat customers. While these are the ultimate goals of your sales process, thinking only in these terms won’t help you develop loyal customers or improve your brand image. If you aren’t working actively to build relationships with your customers, you might have a sales process problem.
Few businesses offer good guidance on how to build relationships with customers. Focusing on the numbers is easier and relationship-building is much more abstract. But one solid strategy is to drive conversations.
What’s in a Relationship?
When you boil it down, all relationships start with some form of conversation. Whether that relationship grows or falters often relies on the quality of conversation. It’s no wonder then that customers are put off by businesses that are constantly making a hard sell through email or social media.
So how do you create quality conversation?
Simply put, In the exact same way that you would with a friend:
Listen to Their Problems
As a business, your goal is to solve a customer’s pain point with your product or service. So rather than blindly pushing your solution, listen to the customer’s problem first and sell when they’re ready.
Everyone likes to laugh and be entertained. People are willing to pay a lot for entertainment and when you give it to them for free, you leave a good impression. Of course, be sure to stay within the boundaries of your brand image. If your company is strictly professional or somber in nature, you’d be better off avoiding the humor.
Provide a Valuable Insight
After problems, value is what keeps a conversation going. Can the other person add to the conversation or are they just repeating what others have already said? Find a way to be an interesting conversation partner; don’t simply regurgitate what other businesses do.
Use Automation as Your Trigger
All this focus on conversation as a way to build relationships doesn’t mean you need to manually create every piece of content sent to your customers. Automation is proven to improve work efficiency and should be part of your sales process. But you should view it as a gateway to meaningful conversation.
Don’t use your marketing and sales automation systems only for automation, but keep the next step in mind.
You can take advantage of the data collected from these systems in two steps: through more tailored automation and well-equipped salespeople.
Seeing which automated messages a customer responds positively to can give you insight into their preferences. Most businesses do this already. Click on the cookbook section of a Barnes & Noble email, and they’ll send you more emails about cookbooks. Put systems like this into place, but be careful to allow for adjustment.
You don’t want a customer receiving non-stop emails about cookbooks just because they clicked on the ad by accident. The more a customer continues to respond to a message, the greater confirmation you have that you’ve found a topic the customer truly cares about.
Use automation not only to send more targeted messages but ensure that your sales team has access to customer preferences. A generic conversation might generate a sale if the customer is already interested in your project. But if the salesperson knows about the customer’s interests in advance, they can recommend other products of interest without sounding like a hard sell.
A well-prepared sales representative also conveys to the customer that their interests and needs matter, so much that the company has taken the time to keep track. A customer might not have these exact thoughts, but the difference between a loyal customer and one who’s merely satisfied can be as simple as a good conversation.
Your business should focus to build relationships with your customers to grow, and one of the best ways to do that is through meaningful conversations. To learn more ways to improve your sales process and engage your customers, contact our experts today.