This Valentine’s day the team at Ciara wanted to focus on something other than romantic relationships. What about business relationships and the relationships you build with your clients?
Here are 5 things you can do to build meaningful business relationships with your prospects.
When prospecting, it is not enough to just scroll through a contact’s LinkedIn page or google the company they represent. It is important that even before reaching out to a potential lead you research who they are, their role in a company, their enthusiasm for their work or the purpose they might be trying to pursue.
It might sound a little cheesy believing that people really bring their purpose to work but everyone has something that drives them and goals that they want to achieve, personal and professional.
It might be that they are working on a project they just got off the ground, maybe they recently started a new position and want to make a good first impression, or have they been with the company for many years but still feel passionate about the business they work for?
Understanding these characteristics can help you build a connection with a client and start to understand what your product can do for them.
If you’re really lucky you might even find an interest you have in common with a prospect, whether it's the industry you both work in, LinkedIn interests, a sports team, an event you both attended, maybe even your frustration with an ongoing pandemic...use this to build a rapport and get curious about your prospect!
But it's not enough to be curious about a prospect just for the sake of a sale. Being genuine in sales will get you much further. You have to ask yourself, can my product really help this client in the long term, does it solve their problem, is there a use case here?
One way to find out is to qualify your leads. Implementing a qualification call into your sales cycle will ultimately speed up the process but it will also help you to learn if a prospect is the right fit for you, or if you are the right fit for them.
Think of it like speed dating but for business. Ask questions and be genuine with your thoughts and answers so that a prospect has the opportunity to really understand if your product will be useful to them.
Remember when it comes to leads, quality is always better than quantity!
Part of being genuine and staying curious about your client’s needs is making sure you are a trustworthy sales rep. All good sales professionals know that when it comes to meeting customer objections or answering questions, being honest about what the product can do is key. You don’t want to promise something that you can deliver later on down the line, this will lose you clients.
This is why a qualification call can be a really useful tool in your sales process, it lets both you and a prospect size each other up and lets you determine early on if you can genuinely help this prospect without the need for false promises.
Check out our webinar on succeeding in remote sales for more more insights into building trust with prospects from afar.
Develop a strong follow-up.
Part of any successful date includes the post-date follow up text, and in sales relationships this is no different. To make a client or prospect call successful you must develop a strong follow-up.
Make sure you get in contact with your client in a timely manner. If they have gone away to get feedback or budget approval give them time to achieve this task...but not too much time.
If you’ve just given a prospect a demo call and they say they need to think about things before moving forward, great! Give them time...but not too much time.
It’s important to be clear and open about next steps and it is good to discuss these before the end of a call so that everyone is on the same page and you know what you need to do in your follow up.
According to one study it is best to contact leads on Wednesday and Thursday and avoid Monday, aim for the first thing in the morning or late afternoon!
Send a follow up email or even give them a quick call up to a week after your initial interaction to keep the sales process moving forward!
Don’t waste time - Remember the important stuff.
When you do have your next business call it is important that you don’t waste a clients time and that you give them the feeling their business and deal is the most important in your pipeline.
How do you do this?
Make sure you have all the key information from your last meeting at hand so you can refer to comments and concerns that a prospect made last time and move forward with your deal more quickly and without too much back and forth.
If there was something you didn't discuss last time make sure it is at the top of your agenda this time and be sure to address anything that you might have missed last time. This way you make sure to cover all your bases and let the client know you care about their challenges and concerns so that they feel confident that their needs will be met.
You can try using a tool like Ciara to do with, with in-call note taking and automated call summaries that sync to your CRM you can easily find key information from all your calls!
That’s it, you're up to speed with the basics of sparking an initial connection with a prospect! Want to deep dive into the art of building better business relationships? Download our 30+ page guide here.
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