In Sales, Relationship Sells


Brian Tracy- endorsed speaker and training consultant
George O. Emetuche

“Happy customers are always repeat customers.” – The Selling Champion.

Businesses that will survive today are the ones with smart customer relations strategies. Today’s marketplace offers almost the same thing. Virtually all the companies in the market promise best quality, best service, best product, and best personnel, and so on. The way to distinguish your business from those of competitors is to have unique relationship management strategies and the right sales team that sell great products and services. These two will ensure that customers receive more value for their money.

Be professional, get closer to your customers

Today’s marketplace is tough. Prices are going up and purchasing power is shrinking. This is the reality of today’s business environment. This is the time to find smarter ways to connect more with your target audience. Bring your customers close and bring your prospects closer. You don’t just push for sales alone; you have to spend time to build valuable relationships.

I always encourage sales professionals to get closer to their customers and prospects as well. Build trust and a great reputation. This helps the sales experience. Relationship is everything in selling. Good relationship with customers is what guarantees the success of the business.

In personal selling, buyers buy most times because of the cordial relationship that exists with the salesperson. In challenging times, one of the foremost reasons that will sustain sales is a great relationship with customers. This has been proven on several occasions. As a sales professional, I can attest to this fact.

Be Identified with the Best

There are levels of relationship to note when managing customers. Each level, according to Kotler, has its approach. Kotler proffered five different levels of relationship, namely:

1. Non-existent relationship
In a non-existent relationship approach, the salesperson doesn’t do anything. He simply says, ‘‘Thanks for the business’’ and then goes on to sell to someone else. In the real sense, the non-existent relationship is not a relationship since the salesperson doesn’t provide any service or maintain any contact after the sale. This type of arrangement will eventually decay.

2. Reactive relationship
In this approach, the salesman says, ‘‘If anything goes wrong, please give me a call.’’ In this level of relationship, salespeople try to show that they care and are available if needed by the customer.

3. Accountability relationship
In accountability relationship approach, the salesperson contacts the customer within a week or two after the sale to ask if he is satisfied. Here, the salesman takes the initiative to get feedback from the customer.

Showing – continuing – interest relationship
This approach involves contacting customers on a continuing basis to tell them about new developments, such as new products. This type of relationship is more permanent and involves continued two-way communication.

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4. Real-partnership relationship
This approach involves working with customers to develop the best and most suitable products and services that satisfy their needs. To achieve this level of relationship, salespeople should involve customers in ascertaining their needs and coming up with products and services that will continue to meet those needs. This type of relationship creates a win-win situation. Customers benefit when their needs are met. The salesperson also benefits by gaining customers who give him referrals and who purchase additional products.

The information shows that the salesman’s relationship with customers is better from level two to five, which of course will ensure effective relationship than level one. Salespeople are supposed to ascertain the type of customers they are dealing with in order to choose the best way to do business with them. This has been my position. Level one relationship could exist in transactional selling, in-store or open market situation, where customers walk in and out on their own without, necessarily needing any effort from the salesperson.

Now, although the salesman may not necessarily follow up on the customer in level one relationship, I still recommend that the salesman explore every opportunity to establish a friendly environment with the buyer during the buying experience. This is important because, the man who walks inside a known or an unknown place to buy a product, will likely walk in there again in future if he was satisfied the first time.

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It is always advisable that the salesman does everything possible to ensure an affable relationship with customers and prospects.

5. Always ensure excellence
Excellence is an attitude of leading organisations. In all you do, ensure you stand out. The best customers’ service is the product and service performance. I often say that performance is the best form of branding. As you build great relationships with customers and prospects, ensure you sell great products and services. Don’t sacrifice excellence on the altar of relationship.

Offer the best products and services. Offer the best terms. Offer competitive prices. Be outstanding in the marketplace. Make yourself and your products unavoidably the best! This is seen in the way you ensure great relationships with your customers and prospects, and in the way you ensure excellent products and services. You can’t beat this combination.

Success in the field of sales is intentional. Plan to win. Go all the miles to stand out. Learn the art of relationship management in your sales activities and be an outstanding sales professional.

Buy books by George O. Emetuche. Reach us for cutting-edge training for your sales team and other professionals. 07060559429, 08186083133.


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