Attention Sales World… Developing Healthy Client Relationships Creates Long Term Sales Sustainability.
“The only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not a place that you go to take.”
According to Wharton Professor Adam Grant in his book Give and Take, there are three types of people in the world when it comes to reciprocity styles: givers, takers, and matchers.
“In a world where we often work in teams and provide services to others, we should strive to adopt a giver mentality. Givers are more successful because they establish reputations and relationships that enhance their success over the long term.”
Can a giving mindset in a sales world riddled with unscrupulous, fake, and disingenuous people be the answer?
A Giver is always trying to figure out what they can do for others. “How can I be of help?”
A Taker is always trying to figure out how to gain something from the situation.
Therefore, could a giving mindset become the answer to healthy long term client relationships? I believe so.
Are your client relationships healthy?
There is interesting data from the field of social psychology that demonstrates leaders who prioritize relationships with their employees and lead from a place of positivity and kindness simply do better.
Could simple and random acts of kindness have the ability to brighten your clients’ day.
Leaders who are values-driven, transparent, compassionate, humane, and who recognize people as unique individuals, have a team that performs better. They are more engaged, less likely to leave, and more loyal.
Companies that are run by these leaders benefit from higher client satisfaction, a better bottom line, more profits, and create long term sales sustainability.
My question to all sales leaders out there… What type of a relationship do you have with your salespeople?
They way sales leaders interact or not interact with their sales teams’ will have an adverse and direct effect on the relationships they foster with their clients.
Healthy relationships involve trust, honesty, respect and open communication.
Reflect upon the words, trust, honesty, respect and open communication, now ask yourself… would my clients use those words about me when describing our relationship?
According to global management consulting firm Bain & Company,
“A 5% increase in customer retention can produce more than a 25% increase in profits.”
So, if you want to build a long-lasting sales career that stands the test of time, you must focus on building authentic and meaningful relationships with your clients.
Like any relationship, if you want your relationships with clients to thrive, you need to put in the time, work and effort. But what does that look like?
DO THE WORK
I love this quote by Jesse Metcalfe,
“There’s no perfect relationship. All relationships are work. If you put in the work, you’ll reap the rewards.”
If you want your client relationships to succeed, you must be prepared to do the work!
All client relationships require work, attention, patience (tons of it) and open mindedness.
Are you willing to do the work?
Here are a few areas you can work on to build upon, strengthen and sustain your client relationships.
- Authenticity & Transparency – These two things put your clients at ease. A quote from Selling from the Heart, “When you’re your authentic self you have no competition.” Does the walk match the talk with your client relationships? Are you being congruent?
- Inspiration – Great leaders inspire and influence. Sales professionals are leaders. Are you creating inspirational experiences for your clients? You can control how you show up? How are you showing up for your clients?
- Value – You’ve all heard the age old saying, “Value is in the eye of the beholder” Do you understand what your clients value? What you know is a critical component of healthy client relationships. Are you consistently, proactively and routinely educating and bringing helpful insights to your clients, to help them do better business? Do your clients value your knowledge? Would you know?
If you’re looking to increase your sales and create sales sustainability, then I encourage you to capture the hearts and minds of your clients.
“People don’t care what you know until they know that you care.”
CARING CREATES SUSTAINABILITY
In a sales world which is sorely lacking trust and credibility, I would like for all of you to think about your clients, what could be running through their minds, “Can I trust you?”, “Are you trustworthy?” or “Can I open up to you?”.
Hear me out on this one… lack of trust no repeatable sales! Deliver on the promises you’ve made. No excuses and no lip service… just care. Do what you say you’re going to do.
How do you feel when someone breaks a promise to you? Now go ahead and place yourself in your client’s shoes… How do you think they feel?
What do you think starts to happen to the relationship?
Keep your word. Don’t ever waiver from it. Care enough about yourself and commit to doing what you say you’re going to do.
“Mean What You Say, Do What You Say”
CARING BUILDS RELATIONAL CONNECTION
“From caring comes courage.”
Do you have the courage to start caring for your clients? I mean really start caring about your clients.
What if you stopped caring for your spouse, your significant other or for that manner, your friends; what would happen to those relationships? It would be a gut punch of reality and rightfully so.
Therefore, caring is deeply rooted in fulfilling relationships. We’re humans and we all crave a sense of belonging.
What ties your client relationships together?
What keeps them from drafting apart?
What is the sustainability glue?
INTENTIONAL CARING CREATES SUSTAINABILITY
Year after year, the nursing profession ranks at the top of the trust meter.
Why is this? They lead with empathy and they truly care about their patients.
Digging a bit into the Nursing profession, I came across the concept Intentional Caring.
Intentional caring was coined by Jean Watson. She is an American nurse theorist and nursing professor who is best known for her theory of human caring. She is also the founder of the Watson Caring Science Institute.
The nursing profession has embraced the theory of Jean Watson’s Caring Science. Caring Science is about embracing the positive energy that flows from an integrated mind, body and spirit and is mutually rewarding to both the patient and the nurse.
She believes nurses are optimally positioned to be the heart of healing. By actively engaging in caring through authentic presence and intentionality, nurses are equipped to be able to optimize their patient’s ability to heal from within.
Could intentional caring be the difference in building or not building genuine client relationships?
Could intentional caring be the essence of sales?
Could this create the healthy foundation for long term sales sustainability?
Imagine for a moment how intentional caring could play out with your clients…
- Become interested in your client’s ideas and pursuits
- Become an advocate for your client’s, promote and champion their direction of growth and interests
- Become cooperative and flexible with your interactions
- Become willing to let them know when they are going in a direction that is potentially harmful to their business
Caring is a day-to-day and moment-by-moment opportunity to create a long-lasting intimate and joy filled relationship with your clients.
THE RELATIONAL GARDEN OF TRUST
I see a direct correlation between what it takes to grow a beautiful garden and what it takes to build trusting, sustainable relationships with your clients.
Growing a relationship garden with your clients involves the commitment of a shared vision, deep respect, ongoing mutual effort, and patience.
The loyalty and trust you build with your clients will continue to reward you in unexpected ways, if you fertilize your relationship garden.
“A garden requires patient labor attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.”
Liberty Hyde Bailey
Remember… the more you invest in your client relationships, the more you can collect from your client relationships.
Originally published on Larry Levine’s LinkedIn.