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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Building Strong Relationships: Can You Teach That?

salespeople building relationshipsYou have hired your next great seller. You have a strong on-boarding plan, a great training schedule, and amazing people in place to help with training. They are prepared to hit the street, right?

Maybe not. There may be something missing. How are they going to build a relationship with their clients? If they have strong relationship skills, it may come naturally to them. But what if they don’t?  

Seller Becoming a Trusted Part of the Team

If your seller is going to have some existing accounts that they will work with, they need to brainstorm how they will transition from “the new rep” to “my rep, who is trusted part of my team.” This is of vital importance if these are annual clients. Whether or not they renew may depend on how quick that relationship is built.

Seller Developing New Business

If your seller is developing all new business, building a trusted relationship with each new potential client is important for establishing their book of business. Clients buy a product, but they also, often more importantly, buy because of their relationship with the account representative. 

So how does your new rep get to that “trusted part of the team” status with current or new clients? Here are some steps to help new sellers build relationships:

  • Research. Encourage them to learn as much as they can about the client, their business, their customers, and their competitors.

  • Prove interest. They need to show that they are interested in the client and that they have dedicated time to learn about their business.

  • Share research. Present one or two items of research on the candidate’s business that they could find helpful or interesting.

  • Super serve. Give some thought to how the client could be 'super served.' Is there common ground that they can use to establish and grow the relationship? If they notice that everyone in the office is passionate about coffee, can they bring in a round of lattes to show that they noticed? Are they huge sports fans? Prepare to discuss the favorite team.

When coaching salespeople, it's important that sales managers help new hires prepare for lasting relationships with clients. Small steps can encourage salespeople to grow and enhance their relationship with a client or prospect which leads to success with the client and strong relationships amongst the sales team. 

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Topics: training salespeople sales training coaching