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S M T W T F S
     
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Syndication

Many sellers assume that experience makes them good at building valuable relationships, but there’s an art to tactically leveraging relationships to land your biggest customers.

 

Zvi Band is the co-founder and CEO of Contactually, a relationship-oriented CRM designed to help businesses build and maintain relationships with their networks. He was an introvert in college who hardly ever left his room, but that was before he discovered that relationships would be his best asset. He is the author of the book Success is in Your Sphere.

 

Sharpen your tools

 

Zvi recognized the need for Contactually because he would connect with people and then lose track of them and miss the opportunity. It wasn’t that he was doing a bad job. He was simply so focused on working hard for his existing clients that he lost touch.

 

To measure the strength of your network, he recommends opening any social media tool and considering whether your network would come to your side if you asked for something simple like $20. Then, if you truly believe your relationships are your most important asset, what are you actually doing to nurture those relationships those won’t pay dividends next week but might in the coming months or years?

 

For most people, the answer is, “Not too much.”

 

Tactically leverage relationships

 

The goal should be to build and nurture personal, authentic relationships without any necessary plan or intent. Then, they’ll call us when they’re ready to buy. Or if we call them, they’ll pick up the phone. 

 

The problem is that sometimes, we aren’t necessarily sure who is important in our relationships or what our goals are. We must begin by figuring out what we’re trying to accomplish. Are you trying to increase the number of referrals? Increase your close rate or your repeat business? Looking for an entirely different job or different career steps? 

 

Clearly identify your goals and then develop everything else to ladder up to those goals. 

 

Always take a step back and ask what you’re really trying to do. 

 

Nurture opportunities 

 

If you’re going to conferences and meetings, you’re likely trying to nurture the opportunities that emerge there. But rather than connecting with everyone there, determine who is there and who you should be working with. For Zvi, that intentional decision shifted who he engaged with when he went to those events. 

 

The worst thing we can do is walk in with a set of business cards and have conversations that will never turn into anything real for either party. Those business cards get lost in the washer and you’ve wasted time that could have gone to people you could truly serve. 

 

Once you’ve identified who you want to connect with, develop a cadence to make sure you’re staying top of mind. Follow their social media and watch for news about their company. Don’t be afraid to tell your connections that you’re simply working to stay in touch. 

 

Value and service

 

Don’t assume follow-up is most important. Focus on value and being of service to someone. The best way we can get what we want in life is by helping others get what they want. That way, as soon as the moment comes where your contact needs what you have, he’ll immediately think of you. 

 

When Zvi was nurturing sales opportunities with large brokerages, he wasn’t necessarily trying to pitch them on the value of software. Understand more about the prospect’s business. Work to understand challenges and identify other existing customers who experienced the same issues. 

 

Work to show your prospect that you aren’t simply trying to get a dollar. You’re trying to build a successful relationship that will ultimately benefit both of you. 

 

You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” -- Zig Ziglar

 

Technological age

 

Technology allows us to connect with so many different people, but the problem is that it does the same for everyone else. That means your customers are being flooded with other ideas and messages. We have to find a way to build personal, authentic relationships. 

 

Realize that being a nice guy isn’t enough to produce business opportunities for you. People have to know what you’re looking for. 

 

Zvi recalls that he was looking for a CPA recently and one of his friends mentioned that a guy they know well was a CPA. Though he knew the guy well, he wasn’t aware that he was a CPA. Make sure your audience understands the skills you bring to the table. 

 

Relationships assets

 

What strategies are you willing to put in place to grow this relationship asset? After all, these assets are just like the dollars in our bank account. We can invest in the asset. It can go up or down. We have to put strategies in place to make sure we’re growing that asset. 

 

There was a time when “always be closing” was the mantra. Now, though, our role has switched to a subscription based business so it isn’t just about selling. It’s about building and nurturing a relationship. Reputation matters and referrals matter. 

 

If a company brings on a customer that won’t result in a successful relationship, that’s bad for everyone involved. We aren’t just trying to get a deal; we’re trying to get a partner. #SalesPartner

 

Capital strategy

 

The best thing you can do is ensure you have time to build relationships. That can be as simple as blocking time in your calendar to build relationships. You don’t respond to email or text during that time. You nurture authentic relationships with people who aren’t at the top of your inbox. 

 

Consistent. Establish a strategy and do it regularly. 

Aggregated. Collect all your relationships in one place like CRM or spreadsheet.

Prioritizing. Identify which relationships are most relevant.

Investigate. Gain intelligence into your relationships. 

Timely. Make sure you’re staying in touch over a certain amount of time.

Adding value. Don’t simply follow up. 

Leverage. Do whatever you can to make it simple. 

 

The CAPITAL strategy ties them all together with a bow. It allows us to understand how all these parts connect together. 

 

Long-term numbers

 

Avoid the temptation to focus solely on numbers. If you’re going to think about them, focus on long-term numbers. Look at touch points and engagement to make sure your reps are staying on value and touching base with clients. 

 

Nurture those relationships to stay top of mind. 

 

Relationships are our most important asset so ask yourself what you could be doing today, tomorrow, or next week to develop that asset. 

 

Tactically Leveraging Relationships to Land Your Biggest Customers” episode resources 

 

Check out Zvi’s book, Success is in Your Sphere and hare it with another relationship professional that would benefit from it. All proceeds from the book’s sale go to charity. 

 

If you haven't connected with me on LinkedIn already, do that at Donald C. Kelly and watch the things I'm sharing there.

 

You've heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we're offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester. You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group.

 

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we'd love to have you join us. Call (561) 578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

 

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You'll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

 

Take advantage of a 30-day free trial, including a free book of your choice, at audible.com/tse.

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Direct download: TSE_1123.mp3
Category:Building Relationship -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

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