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Building & Sustaining a Relationship – Stage One of the Sales Process

Ever notice how people tend to buy from people that they Know, Like, and Trust? Then it only makes sense that the first stage of the sales process is to build and sustain relationships. It is YOUR responsibility to create an atmosphere that is comfortable and amicable for doing business.

Ever have a door to door salesperson come knocking? You open the door and they launch right into their sales pitch. You most likely declined their service and sent them on their way. Hopefully not slamming the door in the faces of the extra pushy ones – even though you wanted to. Why was it so easy to close the door? Because there was no relationship with this person. Building a relationship with your prospects makes them feel more at ease, and helps you weed out clients who don’t fit into your ideal client profile.

The most influential sales people don’t just want to sell you a yearly subscription to Better Homes & Gardens that will go unread or a vacuum that will just collect dust instead of sucking it up. They have a genuine interest in helping you solve a problem, challenge, or reach a goal. Making things personal, can help you stand out among the throngs of other sales people. Another approach is to make your potential clients feel appreciated. This can strengthen the rapport you have created, and it also makes the client prospect good about the relationship.

The last step in building and maintaining the relationship is to make sure that everyone is on the same page. It should be your job to control the selling process. Some helpful ways to make sure you are in the driver seat are to establish up-front agreements with your prospects and determine who will be responsible for what. By giving the prospect an agreement about what they can expect and the progression of the process. They can raise any concerns early on in the process and they know what to expect from you. Assigning responsibilities for both yourself and the potential client will keep progress on track and give accountability to the process.

The Sales process takes time to develop and nurture. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again. People buy from people that they Know, Like, and Trust. They want to work with people who can create a comfortable atmosphere, validate their concerns, and genuinely want to help them solve their problem.

Selling is a necessary skill in today’s marketplace. Sandler’s Professional Advantage can help you move from salesperson to Trusted Advisor.

Susan Powers
Partner & Certified Trainer

Learn more about Sue at

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