How to Create Lasting Business Relationships

Creating lasting business relationships isn’t difficult!

We’ve discovered five elements that will help you build empowering business relationships and ease the tension often associated with selling.

Here at CFS, we use the term discovery-based selling and discovery-based training. We encourage prospects and clients to discover what works rather than being told.

Think about this for a second. Would you rather discover something or be told?

Discovering Lasting Business Relationships

Hence, we work hard to allow learning to occur when we are in a training session.

We also want buyers to discover a way to relate to salespeople, so that both parties get the most out of the relationship.

Here are five things I encourage you to discover if you are a buyer or a seller looking to build lasting business relationships.

  1. Honor your word.

Every word you say in a selling situation (and in life) matters deeply.

How different would your speaking be if you truly understood the power of your words?

For instance, consider the impact of not making a meeting or arriving late, without letting anybody know.

No buyers, it is not OK to be late or to blow off a meeting! No matter how stressed out you are or where this meeting falls on your list of priorities—it’s never okay to break your word.

If you’re looking to build lasting relationships, honor your word! Being open and honest every step of the way goes a long way.

  1. Don’t go radio silent.

In my experience, this is for sure the most damaging to any relationship.

Salespeople do it—but clients really do it.  It’s part of the buying system that has become the default, “not interested—you’ll get the hint and go away” answer.

We salespeople place so much faith and trust that you will communicate responsibly and in a straightforward manner—only to discover that buyers will use any excuse to dismiss us like, “I’m too busy,” “this is not a priority,” I can’t get back to every salesperson,” “if they want my business, they can work for it.”

I say: stop this!

Not only does this behavior diminish the relationship, but it diminishes the people involved in the process.

To be clear: I’m not suggesting getting back to every piece of spam that rolls through your inbox.

What I am suggesting is this: use The Platinum Rule. “Treat others the way THEY want to be treated.” If you are in an active conversation and are the buyer, be responsible and be responsive. The moment that you determine that you do not want to move forward, refer to point number one and be honest! Simply let the seller know that the product or service is not a good fit. You’ll be doing everyone a favor!

  1. Be accountable.

First, be accountable to yourself.

Then let people know what you can be counted on for.

This applies to being accountable to your internal organization like your manager, your teammates, and your actions.

Likewise, be accountable to your customers and prospective customers. Always know that if you blow it and don’t do what you said you would do, or upset someone consciously or unconsciously, that you can always clean it up.

I am confident that you will get a lot of respect when you apologize and recommit to doing what you say you will do.

  1. Act as if there is no one out there.

Imagine that everyone is a different version of you, who thinks like you and who wants to be treated just the way you want to be treated.

Imagine that the more authentic you are with someone, the more they will be with you.

When selling to someone for instance, never be afraid of saying “I’m not sure if I can help you.”

Perhaps a way to follow this statement might be another one like, “let’s see if we can find a way to add value,” or “let’s discover together if we are a fit for each other.”

  1. Make a difference!

No matter what happens or what is said or not said, operate from the premise that you and I want to make a contribution in the world.

If you consider the possibility that there is no higher satisfaction for us human beings than to make a real contribution, then selling takes on a different meaning.

In this paradigm, there is no losing—every interaction, every dialog is a win.  The only communication that prevents that from happening is no communication.

Now do you get why radio silence is so disempowering?

I hope these five areas help you discover new ways to build lasting business relationships. What do you think about these points? Please comment below, I’d love to hear your feedback.
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By | 2017-01-04T12:02:16+00:00 July 5th, 2016|Sales Leaders, Sales Success|1 Comment

About the Author:

Charles Bernard is the CEO at Criteria for Success. He writes about sales, sales leadership, social selling best practices, time management, and anything related to helping others make sales success a habit.

One Comment

  1. Barry Hall July 5, 2016 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    Great post Charles I enjoyed reading it Thank you.

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