MaketimeRelationships are the key to sales effectiveness.

If you’re not taking time to build relationships, then you’re making the biggest sales mistake there is.

Whether a business is ultrahigh tech or low tech, personal relationships have always been what seal the deal in B2B sales.

There is significant research about why customers make buying decisions. Bottom line: It’s because they like and trust the salesperson and his organization. Relationships matter, and trust is the foundation. So you can waste time tapping away on your keyboard. Or you can close the laptop and actually talk to colleagues, prospects, and clients.

Make the Time for Relationships

Yes, you’re very busy. We all are. But relationship-building is not a luxury for salespeople; it’s the only way we can be good at our jobs and keep customers happy so they continue sending us business. And if we’re really good, their referrals will keep our sales pipelines full of hearty leads.

That’s why I had to share Charles H. Green’s terrific post, “Relationships or Metrics? I Haven’t Got Time for Both.” He writes:

Haven’t got time to form relationships and still meet your metrics? If that’s what you’re saying, you don’t understand how to meet your metrics. In any medium timeframe, the person with the relationships will outperform on all business metrics the person without the relationships.

Green goes on to debunk four myths that prevent us from doing the one sales activity that should be our priority—building strong, trusting relationships:

  • Myth Number One: You Don’t Have the Time
  • Myth Number Two: Your Client Doesn’t Have the Time
  •  Myth Number Three: Trusted Relationships Take Time to Create
  • Myth Number Four: Relationships are Built on Quantity of Time

(Read the rest of the article or more.)

Your Network Is Your Net Worth

There’s a saying among salespeople that customers buy with emotion and justify with fact. If our customers don’t like us or don’t feel comfortable with us, they won’t buy from us. The reality is that you need people to start liking you within the first few seconds of your relationship. That’s really all the time you have to get off on the right foot.

So don’t waste your first impression on impersonal digital communication. Get out there and actually get to know your prospects. Ask the right questions to learn about their business challenges. Become a valuable, trusted resource. Let your competitors hide behind their computers, and the deals will be yours to win.

Connect with No More Cold Calling

Follow Joanne on Google+ or Twitter @ReferralSales, or connect on LinkedIn and Facebook.