With quotas to meet and limited time, it can be tempting as a salesperson to go straight for the sales pitch. But it doesn’t work — because for people to buy from you, they have to trust you. Want to know the secret to sales success? Building relationships in business is the key to cultivating the trust necessary to close more deals.
You see, much of day-to-day life takes place behind a screen. And the digital pollution — spam, bots, and persuasive tech — that clouds life in the age of technology leaves people longing for authentic connection and genuine relationships in business.
As a sales rep, it can be challenging to set yourself apart from that digital pollution to earn trust and authentically connect with your prospects and clients. The only way to do this is to take the time to cultivate sincere relationships.
Keep reading for some surefire ways to build relationships in business — in person and remotely. These tips will help you create meaningful connections and earn the trust of your prospects and clients to close more deals today.
Sales Tips for Building Relationships in Business In Person
Learning how to build a strong business relationship begins with understanding that the interactions you have face to face leave a lasting impression.
So what are some tips for building relationships in business, in person, to help you establish strong and meaningful connections?
1. Lead Person Fist
People aren’t what they do for a living. They have hobbies, interests, and passions. During your first interactions in a relationship, it’s important to talk about more than just business. For instance, ask questions such as, “What do you enjoy?” or “What do you like or love?”
Getting to know others on a personal level allows you to establish relationships with the most authentic version of that person. And because you’ve developed a deeper emotional connection, people are more likely to trust you from the start.
2. Listen More, Talk Less
Good relationships depend on good communication. But communication isn’t just speaking to or at people about yourself and your product.
Actively listening to what a person says shows them you value them. Whether they’re talking about their day, a business venture, or a problem they’re having, it’s essential to listen first and then respond. Here are some ways you can actively listen…
• Make eye contact and adjust your posture to appear engaged and open.
• Ask insightful questions about what the other person is saying.
• Be present; don’t just feign interest.
• Don’t interrupt while the other person is speaking.
• Briefly summarize the conversation’s main points. For example, “Your trip last fall sounds wonderful. Tell me more about what you did at…”
• Be empathetic to the other person’s pain points or problems.
3. Practice Empathy
When you practice empathy towards others, you’re focusing on understanding how they feel. Doing this humanizes the relationship and builds trust.
Expressing empathy will help you close more deals because your prospects and clients feel genuinely connected to you.
So what are some ways you can practice empathy to foster an authentic connection?
• Ask questions to understand: Ask thoughtful questions and really listen to the answers.
• Be relatable: Be yourself. Embrace any mistakes or flaws. Doing this humanizes you.
• Create a feeling of partnership: Use words such as “we” or “us” so your prospects and clients feel less alone in their challenges. Show them you’re there to help.
4. Focus on Small Daily Exchanges
Grand gestures and long conversations aren’t the only way to build relationships. Short day-to-day interactions help construct the bigger picture.
Focus on creating small positive exchanges. For example, engage in a brief hello and a handshake, hold doors for others, or buy someone a cup of coffee. These seemingly insignificant interactions will go a long way to foster memorable and meaningful connections.
The key to creating business relationships in person is following up remotely. After you’ve been face to face with potential customers and prospects, following up leaves the door open for ongoing conversations.
These ongoing conversations will help build better and more meaningful connections. (And this will help you close more deals.)
Here some ways to follow up remotely after you’ve started building relationships in person…
• Connect on LinkedIn using video. (Here’s how you can do that.)
• Provide something of value that relates to your in-person conversation. For example, send a book recommendation or helpful blog about something the other person is interested in.
• Send an “It was nice meeting with you” email. Video can help with this!
Watch the video below to see how Danielle Lipari-Mareth, Director of Sales at Lennar Homes, follows up after being face to face with a prospect. Her genuine appreciation is easy to see and feel because she’s using video.
Sales Tips for Building Relationships in Business Remotely
Learning how to build business relationships remotely is just as important as in person. People are busy, and there isn’t always time to meet in person.
Keep reading for tips that will help you establish a business relationship remotely.
6. Interact on Social Media — Especially LinkedIn
There’s a world of technology at your fingertips that allows you to connect with people to start building relationships in business virtually.
Make it a point to interact with potential prospects on social platforms, especially on LinkedIn. Social media provides a space for creating connections, finding common ground, and building rapport before you go for a hard pitch.
When someone connects with you on LinkedIn, use video to respond. By doing this you’re adding a deeper level of personalization. As a result, it will set you apart from other connections.
Watch how Ethan Beute, BombBomb Chief Evangelist, responds to a LinkedIn connection in the video below.
7. Establish Familiarity With a Multichannel Approach
To establish a relationship, people need to be familiar with you. And you can do this by getting your name and face in front of them across multiple channels. Not everyone communicates the same way. Meet people where they’re comfortable by interacting with them across various channels.
For example, get your name in front of them by sending an introductory email or video message, meaningfully comment on LinkedIn posts, and leave them a voicemail message. (You can use the BombBomb Google Chrome Extension to record, send, and share videos on multiple platforms directly from Google Chrome — click here to see how!)
Watch below to see how easily Javed Khan of EMpression incorporates video into an email for a multichannel approach. Because he’s using video, Javed can organically touch on a recent LinkedIn connection and on ways to continue building a relationship without it seeming forced.
(Tip: Using a tool like the BombBomb Microsoft Edge Extension will help you create a multichannel approach to communication. This is because it allows you to connect across platforms, like email and social media, from one browser. This article can help you learn more.)
8. Lead With Value
Part of fostering relationships is showing people that you know who they are as individuals. To demonstrate that you know someone, you need to provide them with something of value that pertains specifically to them. (And, it’s vital to do this before you pitch.)
So what are some ways you can provide value in a business relationship?
• Send a podcast that covers a topic you discussed.
• Share free resources about something they posted on social media, such as a news or research article.
• Invite them to educational webinars they can benefit from.
9. Humanize the Relationship by Finding Common Ground
At the core of human relationships, people just want to be understood. One way to create a deeper level of understanding is to find common ground with your prospects.
To discover what you have in common, you have to do your research ahead of time. Connect on social media platforms (like LinkedIn) and take the time to look into likes, follows, comments, and posts.
After you’ve done your due diligence, you’ll be able to ask your prospects insightful questions about interests, hobbies, and passions that you may have in common.
10. Send Individual Follow-Ups
After small-scale product demonstration or team meetings, follow up with everyone who attended — individually.
As a result of individual follow-ups, your prospects will feel that you value them as unique people. To you, they’re more than just a member of a team or a deal to close — they’re a person with feelings, questions, and pain points of their own. Video is a great way to do this.
11. Send Timely Thank You Videos
Sales is fast and competitive. And staying top of mind consistently in the sales process matters. Using video to express gratitude promptly will help you stand out from your competition. The more your connections see your face and hear your voice, the more likely they are to feel like they know you.
Show your genuine gratitude by sending thank you videos the same day someone…
• Schedules an appointment with you
• Sits through a product demo
• Requests to connect on LinkedIn
Watch how sales professional Keegan Otter thanks a prospect for setting an appointment (and gently reminds them to attend) in the following video…
12. Be Direct and Succinct
Once your relationship has been well established and is solid, you inevitably have to go for your pitch. But it’s important to be respectful and to remember that time is a valuable commodity.
You can show prospects that you value your ongoing relationship with them and their time by being direct and succinct when asking for a meeting or call to make your sales pitch. (And using video will make this clear and easy.)
To be straightforward and concise when asking to pitch, try to stick to the following format:
1. Begin by leading with a pain point first. Something like, “I believe that [INSERT PAIN POINT] is a problem you’re facing.”
2. After that, let your prospect know how you can help with that pain point.
3.Include how you’ve recently helped someone or a team in a similar situation.
4. Finally, close with a call to action requesting to talk. Be sure to include your calendar link.
Take a look at the video below to see how Elyse Archer of Brand Builders Group asks to pitch. She keeps her request pleasant, clear, and to the point — which is easy to see and feel because she’s face to face.
13. Schedule Zoom Check-Ins
Part of building relationships in business is maintaining those relationships over time. For example, after closing the deal, make it a point to check in periodically with your clients. And, in addition to periodic check-ins, put a 15-minute Zoom meeting on your client’s calendar about two months after you close.
Relationships don’t end after the sale. You have to keep nurturing them to keep lifelong customers. Doing this allows you to see how things are going. And being face to face will remind your client that you’re a real person and that you’re still there should they need anything. (And then, when it comes time for renewal, they still have a personal relationship with you and with your brand.)
Build Better Business Relationships in Sales With Video
Good business relationships are the cornerstone of sales deals. And now you have some great tips to help you start building relationships in business — both in person and remotely. Getting face to face with video is an essential component of that.
Want to start building better business relationships with video? Try BombBomb free for two weeks.
And once you’ve started nurturing business relationships in sales, you can begin prospecting. And prospecting with video sets you apart. Check out this post to learn all about prospecting with video.