Whether you are in Sales or not, you know that people do business with people they can relate with. We are assuming here that those salespeople should be selling something that's meaningful for the customers.
Bonding with your potential prospects and customers is NOT a luxury; it is a necessity. Bonding well is the surefire way of increasing the chances of winning a deal. This does not mean wanting to become their friend... buyers are not looking for friends.... they are looking to solve business problems, achieve goals and get their needs met.
Here are three ways to get started:
1. Genuinely Care for What THEY Care About
When you genuinely care about what they care about, their concerns will become your concerns.
One way to look at a sale is, – to get the money and see what value you can provide in exchange for that money. The alternate way is provide insane amount of value to help them with their concerns and in exchange receive the money that is a fraction of the value.
The fastest way to achieve this is through what my friend Mark Goulston in his book entitled "Real Influence", calls "connective listening". Most salespeople listen with an antenna that is tuned into their own interests. Great salespeople are able to make the leap from their "here" to the buyer's "there".
The second option works like magic in the long run.
2. Bridge One or More Gaps
You can bridge one or more gaps by being a positive possibility in their future or be someone who will help them avert one or more potential problems. In general, a growing organization is on their path to their next goal.
They are looking for help to accelerate their journey, find a better path to their next goal, reduce the cost of reaching that goal or some combination of all the above.
If you can truly play a part and quickly prove to them that having you as part of the team will be beneficial to achieve one or more the above, you are automatically welcome into their ecosystem.
Bonding is quite natural in that scenario.
3. Be Relevant ALL the Time
When you are selling, it’s all about them.
If every interaction you have (phone, email or social media) is relevant to them, you will be totally welcome in their professional lives.
They will gladly accept your outreach because they KNOW that you are reaching out to talk about something meaningful to them. This does not in any way mean that you need to sacrifice your own interests for the sake of others.
This is where you find balance and what is commonly termed as “enlightened self-interest.” If your intent and actions are to serve others first and as a side benefit of those actions serve yourself, you will force yourself to be relevant.
There is another important reason to take the above approach.
Bonding right leads to very long term relationships (and in some cases lifetime relationships). These long-term relationships (or lifetime relationships) typically span beyond the context of your current your role and company affiliation leading that in turn leads to greater paybacks later in your career. Happy Bonding!
Other Posts in this series
A is for Alignment (title changed on Salesforce.com blog)
B is for Bonding
C is for Confidence
D is for Detachment
E is for Excellence in Small Things
F is for Follow Up (On Huffington Post)
G is for Grateful
H is for Hunger to Succeed
I is for Intent to Serve
J is for Judgment (On Huffington Post)
K is for Knowledgeable
L is for Likeable
M is for Margin
N is for Nurturing (On Huffington Post)
O is for Onward
P is for Please
Q is for Questions (On Huffington Post)
R is for Resourcefulness (On Huffington Post)
S is for Storytelling
T is for Teaching