All Things Being Unequal …

… Relationships Win

All Things Being UnequalIn business, the hard stuff is the soft stuff. The soft stuff is the hard stuff. This statement couldn’t be any truer when it comes to relationships and serving customers and selling effectively.

As a Customer Service Representative (CSR) or salesperson, you are first and foremost a relationships manager. It is through relationships that you open and advance opportunities.

Imagine that you need a commitment from your dream client or prospect and you have spent some time developing relationships deep within the dream client’s company. You have gotten to know these contacts and their organization.

You have established trusting, warm, open, friendly relationships that are built on your having shared ideas that create value for them, on your having created value before claiming any, and on you proving yourself as a someone with whom it is worth doing business. You have opened relationships and made deposits in them.

When you have these relationships, it is easy to ask for and obtain the commitments you need, such their time and the sharing of information with you. Think how easy it would be to get the commitment for an audience so you can share your ideas, your thoughts, and your ideas about what you might be able to do to make a difference for your dream client.

How do you begin to measure these relationships? Answer these questions:

  1. Is there someone within your dream client that will take your call?
  2. Are there a number of people with who have relationships that are strong enough that they will sponsor you and act as your champion?
  3. Or, do you want to go without relationships?

Without Relationships
Imagine you need the same commitment from another dream client or prospect. They don’t know you. You have no real relationships within the company, and you have spent no time getting to know the people, their company, their needs, or their challenges.

You have done nothing to establish trust, and the only way that you are known is that you have somehow called or shown up asking for a commitment of their time and for a lot of information they aren’t comfortable sharing with strangers. You have done nothing to create value before claiming some. You are suspect. Your requests aren’t bolstered by any strong relationship. You don’t have the relationships that underlie the trust that enables asking for and obtaining commitments.

The Long Way and the Short Cut
The shortest way to winning your dream client comes from spending the time developing the relationships that you need to win. What feels like a shortcut, going straight for obtaining your objective without the relationships is actually the long way around, instead, you lose an opportunity, disappear for a while, then you show back up to lose again.

You must be a relationship manager. The shortest way to winning is to develop relationships, to invest in those relationships, and to create value before attempting to claim it. All things being equal, relationship win. All things being unequal, relationships still win.

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James E. McClain is the author of Successful Career Development: A Game Plan, the book upon which some of our training programs are based. He has over 30 years' experience as a corporate HR executive, small business owner with ongoing experience in career development and as a college instructor. His educational background includes a B.S. and Masters degrees Education and Certification in Financial Planning. Our promise is that "you can pay more for training but you can not buy better training." The mission is to deliver the most effective and cost effective training and development programs.

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Posted in Customer Service, Leadership, Selling Skills

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