The power of relationship selling

For success selling high-value products with longer sales cycles, you have to build a relationship with your buyers. Let’s find out more.

Focusing on the transaction doesn’t work anymore — not in SaaS anyway. Buyers have already done their research before they bother picking up the phone to talk to you. They’re there to buy, not to be sold to.

The way to make your buyers happy and turn them into raving fans of your product is to build a relationship with them as you sell. In SaaS, you need to get the deal, but you also want them to renew next year.

In this article, we’ll look more at relationship selling. What is it? Why does it work? How do you do it? OK, let’s go.

What is relationship selling?

Relationship selling is about taking the transaction out of the sales process and focusing on building a rapport with the buyer. When you can position yourself as someone who is on the prospect’s side, you can be seen as a trusted advisor. When the prospect trusts you and enjoys dealing with you, they will remain a customer for the long-term.

Why does it work?

In B2B and SaaS, the sales cycle is generally quite long. Also, the product is usually sold on a subscription basis. So, the focus on the lifetime value of a customer, not just the first deal.

If you concentrate solely on getting the deal no matter what, you might be able to persuade a prospect to buy, but you’ll struggle to get them to renew.

Relationship selling is about getting away from the traditional image of the smooth-talking salesperson who’ll say anything to win the sale. It’s about making sure the prospect is doing the right thing for themselves when they buy. It’s about creating win-win situations. It’s about trust and transparency.

How to build strong relationships with your prospects

Now you know the importance of relationship selling, here are some tips to follow so you can get better at it:

· Listen — when you’re with a buyer, talk less and listen more. Don’t pitch, or talk about how great your product is. Instead, get the prospect to talk about what’s on their mind, while you seek to understand their pain points.

· Help — Do what you can to make the prospect’s life better. Even something as simple as commenting on their LinkedIn posts can solidify your relationship.

· Solve problems — If you have qualified your prospect correctly, they are talking to you because they have a problem that needs solving.

· Be an expert — Talk to your buyers about their business and their industry. It boosts your credibility and helps you help them.

· Be real — Lower your guard when you talk to your prospects. Buyers find it a lot easier to relate to someone confident enough to be themselves, warts and all.

Of course, it should go without saying that you should be honest in all your dealings. We’re trying to get away from the smooth-talking salesperson image, remember!

Over to you

Now, we want to know what you think.

What are your tips for building strong relationships with your customers?

Let us know with a comment down below.