Relationship selling at its best
CRM software may be aii tiie rage, but it takes more tiian technoiogy
to buiid meaningfui reiationsiiips with your customers
THERE IS MUCH WRITTEN TODAY about
Customer Relationship Management, CRM for
short. Software providers brag that their software
brings high-tech to high-touch. But there's more
to your relationship with customers than software
can provide. As humans, we are hard-wired for
We crave the presence
selling is about
with your customers.
It is less
and more about
trust. I recently
surveyed 100 top
asked them how
much of their sales success they attribute to their
relationships with their customers. They responded
with an astounding 79 percent.
When asked how they build this relationship,
they responded: "I make it personal." It goes
beyond business. They develop warm, personal
relationships with customers based on common
interests and goals. They build trust by following
up on their promises. They communicate openly
and fully with customers. They keep customers
ahead of the curve by bringing them information
that affects their business. They are accessible to
customers; many of them offer 24-7 availability.
They help their customers succeed.
These salespeople partner with customers. One
customer told us that his salesperson was more like
one of his own employees because of the value he
creates. Another said that his salesperson knows
that, "When we have a problem, he has a problem."
Problem ownership and customer intimacy
are ways salespeople create value for customers.
When studying these top-achieving salespeople,
I interviewed their sales managers and asked
how they saw their salespeople build relationships
with customers. One sales manager said it
best: "When I have a rep that is struggling, the
first thing I look at is his expense reports. Taking
customers to lunch is no...