When did you meet your best friend? Can you remember how you became friends and built that relationship? I met my best friend on the playground when we were 3, and I imagine we bonded over being equally bad at football.
We have been friends for over 20 years; he is a brother to me, although since leaving home for university we have been based at opposite ends of the country and it has become rare that we see each other more than a handful of times throughout the year. But I know if I need anything he will be there to help at the drop of a hat and vice versa.
We didn’t become best friends over night, that’s not how it works. But of course you know that. You would think if someone you met a couple of hours ago and they were planning to go on holiday with you, or come round on boxing day, that they are clearly insane. Relationships take time and effort to develop, and need to be nurtured as they progress. The same can be said of a sale.
Business is all about building relationships with people or companies; strong relationships and partnerships create valuable opportunities and lead to mutually beneficial growth to both parties. Often products and services that businesses acquire from one another are of substantial financial value, not decisions to be taken lightly or over night. I have found that often cost is not the principle factor in determining the outcome of a sale. Combined with the decision criteria for the project the relationship developed between the vendor and the customer is a key factor on determining the overall result. After all why would you buy something from someone you don’t trust?
The vast majority of time in the sales cycle isn’t actually “selling” as such. After an opportunity is defined and understood there is a long process of nurturing the relationship correctly until such a time as the project is ready to move to tender. This period I like to compare to making a new friend, and is in the long term a much better feeling than buzz of booking in that initial meeting or even closing the sale.
If you are interested in how building strong value-based relationships can benefit your business, then do not hesitate to have a conversation. At durhamlane we help businesses find new customers through our Sales Training, Recruitment and Outsourced Sales to create qualified business opportunities.
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