Relationship selling to high value customers - small business owners, affluent investors, and “centers of influence” – is a high stakes game that every business is playing.
Companies are placing big bets on these markets - investing millions of dollars in sales training, targeting, products, sponsorships, and promotions. The winners will garner the “primary relationship” with the most attractive owners, influencers and investors in their markets and grow faster and more profitably.
Winning the relationship game means you should be aware of and stick to the “golden rules” of relationship selling - differentiation, trusted advice, cross-selling and sustained calling on the best opportunities.
Traditional marketing tools – promotions, sponsorships, product marketing and advertising - do not directly support these relationship development objectives. Traditional sales incentives, coverage plans and processes ignore the “golden rules” of relationship selling.
Organizations that want to generate deeper and more trusted relationships with the top owners, influencers and investors in their markets should take four steps:
- Establish the rules of the game – Define clear and attainable relationship goals and priorities – share of wallet, trusted advice or primary relationship - so your sales team can focus, keep score, and succeed.
- Perform a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) on your business. Carefully analyze your ability to navigate the most common relationship selling obstacles faced by most organizations.
- Choose your “winning hand” - the highest return investments for your organization. There are proven ways to acquire and build relationships with high value owners, influencers and investors, and you cannot afford to pursue them all.
- Play your trump card next quarter. Define clear and concise sales strategies and tactics your team can execute in the next quarter - with a step-by-step execution plan so that the average salesperson understands what to do and has a clear and measurable target.