Relationship Selling: What you must have!


People tend to do business with those they like and trust. How do you build trust in a business environment? Let your prospects and customers get to know you. Make sure they understand why you started your business, and why you believe in your product or service. You might also get involved in industry or neighborhood organizations where you can meet your prospects and customers in a different environment. They can experience another side of you, and get to know you as a person, not just as a vendor. While you are still selling the benefits of your product or service, you are also selling yourself. Build trust by keeping your word. From follow-up calls to delivering on time, keeping your word can be one of your most powerful sales tools. Of course unexpected things do happen, and sometimes you cannot keep your promises. When this occurs, communicate with your prospect or customer offer your help, and inquire whether the change is workable.

Listen More Than You Talk

The better your product or service fits your customers’ needs, the more sales you will have. When customers know you sincerely care about what they want and need, they will feel secure that they are making the right decision in buying from you. When you listen more than you talk, customers realize you are genuinely interested in them, and that you are trying to understand their specific situation. They feel more comfortable with you, and will soon realize you are on their side. Make active listening a regular practice, and you will find it much easier to create excellent relationships with your customers.

Ask For The Business

Relationship selling does not consist of a simple set of techniques you have to master. It is a way of conducting yourself in the business world that is flexible, cooperative and professional. When selling in a context of building healthy relationships, you are operating as an ethical, considerate and helpful human being. You are also building your communication and other personal development skills. This is not only satisfying, but also quite effective in creating a steady stream of sales for your business.

*Excerpted with permission from “Small Business Success” magazine, Volume 5, produced by Pacific Bell Directory in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Partners for Small Business Excellence.