Simple Ways to Build Strong Relationships
- 3 Min Read
When you start working in the sales and marketing industry, it’s fairly easy to pick up the basics of the trade — right audience, right message, right time. The tangibles. The science. What they don’t always teach you about is the more elusive art of forming successful relationships.
In today’s fast-paced, technologically driven, contact-less world, it’s easy for the importance of meaningful interactions to get overlooked. Ideas or processes might win business, but strong relationships keep people coming back. As an account service executive that’s been managing client and employee relations for over a decade, I’m here to tell you that relationships are still king (this is even coming from a millennial), and there are simple ways you can build and strengthen some of your own, whether you’re trying to connect virtually or over happy hour patio beers.
1. FIRST, BE LIKABLE.
If you’re in the business of sales or marketing, it’s important to be a person others want to be around. When interacting with clients, customers or consumers, your goal shouldn’t be to sell the person — it should be to relate to and understand them. And if you can accomplish that, it will open the door for sales.
To do that, get to know people’s backgrounds and circumstances to find common ground and divulge stories of your own. Only then can you start to form real connections based on shared experiences. Ask questions, show genuine interest in the response and be open-minded to the conversation at hand. You’ll be amazed how far a little active listening can go.
2. NEXT, BE MEMORABLE.
To be memorable, you have to be interesting. And to be interesting, you have to be interested. The more curious you are and the more thought-provoking questions you ask, the more likely you are to be remembered. Veer away from the expected “how was your weekend?” conversation and get to know people on a deeper level. Ask about goals, habits and motivations. If you can find a way to move past the remedial and into the meaningful, you’ve got a connection for life.
3. FINALLY, BE AUTHENTIC.
Humans want to buy from other humans, not from sales robots reciting costs and benefits. Don’t be afraid to be real and to show a little personality. Not only will it set you apart and make you more memorable (as mentioned above), but it will also help you earn trust with those you aren’t trying to pull one over on. People will always value honestly over insincerity, so when in doubt, tell it like it is and it’ll be met with respect.