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Sales as a Courtship: Building Lasting Customer Relationships - Episode 95

June 11, 20245 min read

Today, we're going to be diving into a fascinating analogy that I got from my friend Greg Roworth, who said something about sales being a courtship.

You've probably heard me talk about sales being like dating. I actually like his term a little bit better than mine. Sales is like a courtship. It is about developing a relationship just like you would if you were dating. If you're not nurturing that relationship, chances are you think about a date and won't get a second date. It's the same thing in sales. 

I want you to picture this: You're on this first date and not just talking about yourself the whole time. You're asking questions, listening intently, finding common ground, and building that connection. And if you're engaging, truly listening, and frankly not doing anything stupid, you're going to grow that like and trust factor, which leads us to a relationship.

But what happens if you go on a first date? It was great, but you have yet to contact them again. You may probably have this distasteful image in your head. And it's the same thing: If you don't follow up with your customer, your potential customer, the relationship dies. I want to take this a step further.

Imagine you and your potential customer are like a pair of ballroom dancers (just like Dancing with the Stars). You move in synchronicity; you have this connection, you're talking, get to know each other, pivot really smoothly, and anticipate each other's next move. That type of seamless interaction is only possible because you know your partner well. Knowing your customer inside out in sales lets you anticipate their needs and respond with the perfect solution. 

Gallup has a really compelling statistic: businesses that successfully engage their customers realize a 23% premium in terms of share of profitability, revenue, and relationship growth compared to those that don't. So, how do you develop this relationship, whether it's in person or online? 

Here are just a couple of really simple strategies for you.

First, personalize your communication. 

Tailor your messages to address the specific needs and interests of your potential customers. Use their names. Refer to past interactions if you've had them, or if you haven't interacted with them, refer to something you have sent to them before. That will show you remember what you've been talking to them about and their preferences. The more you can personalize, the better off you're going to be. I know in this day and age, a lot of times people like to send things out like in mass, whether it's an email, that goes out to your entire list or maybe using project broadcast for, social media or for sending things out in text messages. But remember: the more you personalize it, the more you can tag your customers. If you don't tag them, make sure that you take notes about them, especially if it's one of the type of customer so that you can always keep track of what it was that you said to them in the past and maybe some of their hot buttons and things about them as well.

Number two is active listening

Don't just hear; listen, pay attention to what your potential customers are saying, and ask follow-up questions. This shows that you really value their input and are interested in their wants and needs. 

Number three: have consistent engagement.

Stay in touch with them regularly, but don't overdo it. There's something to be said to send something out and give it a little bit of a pause. Unless you're trying to close something, you can contact them more often (especially if you have an end-of-the-month scenario). Check in with them and just be there when they need you. If you are there when they need you, you will build that relationship faster than anyone else. Remember what I said: Consistency builds the relationship. If you're on a date and you don't reach back out to that person you had the date and you thought that you had this amazing connection, they're going to forget about you and probably be angry at you. So remember, follow-up is key, and consistency builds trust. 

Number four: be authentic. 

People can sense when you're not genuine. Be yourself! Show your lovely, human side and let your wonderful personality shine through. Being authentic fosters deeper connections. Let's not forget the power of online relationship building because, in today's digital world, social media platforms are gold mines for developing relationships with potential customers. 

According to Sprout Social, 89% of consumers buy from a brand they follow on social media. So, engage with your audience, respond to comments—I would say do that 100% of the time—and create content that really resonates with them. 

Treating sales like a courtship and focusing on relationship development sets you up for long-term success. It's about more than just making the sales. It's about creating a loyal customer who will come back time and time and be your biggest raving fan. 

Today's Pocket Ninja takeaway is that sales is more than a transaction; it's a calling. It's something noble that you can do if you have a gift you want to make sure gets out there and helps people. 

Remember, it's a relationship; it's a dance. Treat your potential customers like your dance partner. Move in harmony, anticipate their needs and wants, and build a connection far beyond the surface. This approach will drive higher success rates and create a loyal customer base that champions you.

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The Professional Rule BreakerKathy WalterhousePocket NinjaSales CourtshipSales Strategies
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