Establishing, building and maintaining strong relationships with key groups.
Relationships add value. A salesperson can compete on the basis of product, price, and service but still lose a sale because of the relationship between the customer and the competitor’s salesperson. Partnering is the highest-quality selling relationship. With increased competition and greater product complexity, we see the need to adopt a relationship strategy that emphasizes the ‘lifetime’ customer.
Partnering can be defined as a strategically developed, high-quality relationship that focuses on solving the customer’s buying problems. There are three keys to a partnering relationship: the relationship is built on shared values; everyone needs to clearly understand the purpose of the partnership and be committed to the vision; and the role of the salesperson must move from selling to supporting. Relationship strategies focus on four key groups: customers, secondary decision makers, company support staff, and management personnel.
You need the support of these people to help you reach your goals. So what are you doing to establish, build and maintain relationships with people in those key groups? How are you helping them? Find out what they need and help them reach their goals. What are you doing to make stronger connections with those people? The social norm of reciprocity is the expectation that people will respond to each other in similar ways – people will respond to you helping them with similar benevolence of their own.
Remember that establishing, building and maintaining strong relationships with key groups contributes to your success in personal selling.