The art of building client relationships has changed dramatically over the past few years. The rise of public information available on the internet has changed the “building new client relationships” game for sales representatives.
It’s no longer acceptable to just phone an office or walk in with a business card (i.e. cold call), or to send an unsolicited email to a prospective client. These old school methods of doing business actually hurt your opportunities to build new client relationships.
How Do You Stand Out?
Prospects want to know that the sales rep that they’re receiving information from absolutely knows what they’re talking about, and they want to hear something new, not just the old, “you currently have model XYZ and we’re going to replace it with model ZYX” (that incidentally does the same thing).
As a sales rep looking to build new client relationships, you need to differentiate yourself. If you do the same thing that everyone else is doing in your market segment, how are your results going to be any different from your competition? The answer is, they’re not going to be.
This type of “do the same as everyone else” behavior is called, “sales insanity,” and unfortunately, it happens in business every single day. Don’t fall into this mindset, because it will not lead you in the “sales stardom” direction that you want (and deserve) to go.
In terms of building new client relationships, there are three simple (and proven) methods you can immediately implement in your everyday efforts that will definitely make your first impression have the biggest impact.
1. Be a Trailblazer
The first step in building new client relationships is being unique in what you offer. Be the only one in your field doing something a certain way, and pave the road that everyone else follows. Typically when something is unique, it is given a higher value, so if you can position yourself as being unique, you’re going to get in front of a larger audience while putting more money in your pocket.
Present yourself as the authoritative expert in your market segment and people will be knocking on your door because they want to do business with you.
2. Have a Unique Offer
The second step in building new client relationships is offering something different. Show people how what you provide is really going to make a difference in their life or business. Clients want to know how what you’re offering them is going to either increase productivity or decrease their operating expenses, and they need to understand exactly how you’re going to do it, and quickly.
If it takes you 30 minutes to explain how you’re going to save a prospect money, it’s never going to happen. You need to be able to explain (at least in the initial meeting) what you’re proposing to do, and how it’s going to work, within a few minutes.
3. Be Authentic
The third step in building new client relationships is being genuine. This is at the top of my list, because without genuineness, you really have nothing to build the relationship on. Be who you are in real life with your clients, and just be natural. If you’re funny, if you’re quirky, or if you look a little different…that’s all fine. Use those as your strengths and be who you really are from day one.
If you’re trying to act like someone you’re really not, it’s eventually going to come to the surface, so just be yourself and be true to yourself throughout the building of the relationship.
Creating Value for Clients
In the end, building new client relationships is all about creating value for the prospect. Nobody wants to have their time wasted, and nobody wants to hear the same old sales rep jargon that they’ve heard for years.
Be the difference maker for a decision maker within a new account by taking everything you learned above and putting it into action. Without action, you have nothing, so now that you know better, go out and do better.
Brandon Schaefer (CEO of MyVirtualSalesForce) is an entrepreneur, public speaker, author, investor, advisor, and market segment influencer.