Relationships underpin everything that we do, if you want to be a good leader, you must be in relationship with your people, if you want to work in a successful team, you must be in relationship with your team members and if you want to make more sales you absolutely must be in relationship with your prospects and customers.
Sales people often miss opportunities to connect with other people because they don’t know how to network, they try to push too hard or they simply can’t connect with the other person they are trying to sell to. It is critical that you learn how to quickly get on board with other people and build a relationship. The next step is to leverage off the relationships you already have in business to get more sales by referral, rather than cold calling.
We all know lots of people in business, we just have to tap into the relationships we have with those people to get them to recommend us to their networks. This gives us immediate and dramatic exposure to a much wider market.
The problem here is that most people make three massive mistakes that stop them getting the business they need or want. Let’s look at the three mistakes
Confusing Networking with Selling
Many sales executives go to a business function hoping to make an immediate sale rather than hoping to meet a few good prospects for their business. People are too eager to jump into sales mode, rather than stay in relationship building mode. Building relationships is the critical piece at this stage, once a relationship is established, then and only then can you move to the next phase, which entails introducing your product or service to the mix.
Ignoring the Real Value of Your Network
As business people we all have many connections and again there is real value in our network if we take a step back and think about who we know and how can we lever off that relationship. There are three kinds of people in our network, people we go to for information, support and referrals. Each has a role to play. Think about your network, who do you go to if you need information or better still who do you go to if you have an issue or problem and need support? Finally, who do you go to if you want more referrals or access to more business?
We often undervalue the people in our networks and we don’t think to categorise who these people are and where they fit. Often we have many untapped reserves of people in our networks that
Networking Without a Plan
Most business owners and sales people don’t have a relationship marketing plan, rather they rely on old fashioned cold calling to get more business. Cold calling does work, the problem with it is that the success rate is very low. In fact, research shows that just 3% of every one hundred cold calls result in a sale. Doing business by relationship easily outshines cold calling and will double, even triple your sales for the same amount of effort.
It is critical to have a relationship marketing plan. Identify who is your target market and then pinpoint other business people that do business with that same market and do not compete with you. These people become your relationship marketing partners and with careful preparation, you can both cross promote each other to the same market and create win/win. This takes a little preparation and by carefully educating your relationship partners, you can all gain more sales.
If you want more sales, you must harness the power of doing business by relationship.