Many sales roles require long term relationships and not simply a one time purchase or quick incubation time.
In hospitality sales, for instance, it can take ten years to get a piece of business from relationship to close. Groups book their programs further out and rotate around the world, creating a pattern issue if, for example, you are on the west coast and they will not be back in that region for eight years.
So, what do you do to maintain those relationships, stay relevant and provide information without being a constant sales pitch? Would love to hear your tricks!
One of the keys is to get to know the person(s) you’re dealing with in depth.
What are their goals and aspirations? How do they get paid (bonused)? What are their deliverables and timelines? What will make them look good in front of their boss?
The more you know about them as a person and as a professional, the more you can build a more meaningful relationship. When you can help them succeed you will move the timeline of your own success forward significantly. Be intentional in your interactions.
As a preamble, I would like to point out that I know nothing about this sector of activity
But on the principle, I would say that you should maintain professional exchanges with them. They have the chance to have an international vision of offers and services, can participate greatly in your success. It’s a win-win relationship, which allows them to take advantage of the offer that best suits their expectations.
All this is very theoretical, I will accompany it with a small example.
We’ll start with a bit of storytelling, and end with an engaging open-ended question.
Last week, one of your colleagues’ coaches fell ill. The clients were in a panic because he was also the translator, and they didn’t speak English. It was impossible to find a translator immediately available, although our concierge is excellent. The whole team got involved! Coincidentally, a hairdresser’s nephew, who is also Polish, was on vacation in Seattle and available, and I know some local escorts.
Are there things that are done in other countries, in other hotel groups that you would like to find here?
Here’s a suggestion … Even if it’s a message every 6 months, I think it’s personalized enough to keep the commitment …
I stay in touch by providing information they can use. For example, I reach out with updated methods, practices and studies, typically via email.
I reach out to active clients at least twice a month with general information concerning the industry or a project or program results.
I find the key is staying relevant. Don’t reach out and say hi, reach out with something they can use.
I have found having a schedule of periodic contact makes sense in the financial services industry. For years, the standard has been "People feel they are getting good service is they have meaningful interactions 6+ times per year. A good strategy when calling to schedule a review is to remind the client the last time you spoke, to provide context. Also, when the stock market is volatile, it is smart to make plenty of outgoing calls to clients. It lets them know you are paying attention.
YES - this is so important. KNOWING the client and that comes with trust, time and investment of human capital. I love the intentional with interactions. While it is about the relationship, walk away with something you didn’t know before!!!
Good call -
I have something I call trickle tracing. Using the CRM to create traces for random interaction - non-selling. Then have two sales related traces sprinkled in along with the face to face opportunities!
Relationship building blocks are important and when you have a file full of clients/potential clients, the CRM is how best to make sure you are staying connected.
Keep building : )
You are so good at understanding the process! TOUCH POINTS…do not miss them. Even if people do not respond, they are paying attention and staying relevant is a process.
So many miss this point - they touch someone once or twice and then lose focus.
Thanks for your in-put!
It looks like you summed up the buyers’ journey for any product. As there are buyers and suppliers everywhere, the name of the game is for buyers to view, compare, and then purchase the products that suit their needs. Suppliers’ products need to be in front of buyers for deals to happen. Thanks for sharing your thoughts @ljvd