20 May Moving from Transactions to Relationships
Historically, the business world has focussed primarily on individual transactions as opposed to relationships. That’s why so much of modern business and marketing is focussed on revenue and returns on investment instead of on more telling metrics like the number of people who become repeat customers or the length of the average customer lifecycle.
And to be fair, it does make sense to keep an eye on these metrics because they can give you a good idea of how your company’s performing in the short and medium term. At the same time, though, focussing too heavily on these metrics can be counterproductive. For example, you can focus so heavily on immediate conversions from new customers that you forget to take care of existing customers and lose their business.
On top of that, employees are increasingly looking to work in jobs where they can develop relationships with people instead of simply selling to them. As a salesperson, you feel better about the job that you’re doing if you know that the product you’re selling is helping people and making a difference to their lives. In other words, when you’re looking above and beyond just the relationship.
Relationships as a way of life
To future-proof your business, you need to build relationships into your business from the bottom up. This means rethinking everything from your voicemail message to the way you handle maternity leave and how you go about settling unpaid accounts. And it’s not something you can just do by following a checklist. You have to make it a way of life.
It’s also not something you can force with company-wide directives and initiatives. The good news is that you can at least encourage it by strategically hiring the people with the skills you need and by providing training programmes and incentives to help people to build relationships with everyone from employees and suppliers to the customers that you’re selling to.
The best sales teams are those that know how to sell the right product to the right person, and not just to try to seal the deal. There’s no reason why you can’t sell to people while still adding value and helping to make their lives easier, and there’s also no reason why you can’t build relationships at the same time. In fact, the best relationships are beneficial for everyone.
Ultimately, building relationships with people isn’t just a good idea – it’s common sense, a way of life, and a sure fire way to grow your company at a rapid pace. Better still, it’ll give your employees a reason to look forward to going to work every day. And ultimately, you’ll be able to see the effect it has on your business’ bottom line.
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