Last week, my husband, Gregg, and I stopped by a local winery where I am a member to pick up my most recent shipment. As is customary for this winery, I receive a complimentary glass of wine each month so he and I decided to have a glass. We sat next to a couple who had taken their son to dinner at the steakhouse across the street and decided to come over to try out the winery. Gregg was sitting next to the father, Pete, and they struck up a conversation.
During that conversation, we learned that Pete worked at a manufacturing plant and he was frustrated with the way he was treated by his employers.
“Everything is all about the transaction,” shared Pete. “I wish business could be done through relationships.”
Gregg and I are firm believers in the importance of building business relationships. Whether we are building and maintaining relationships with our employees, our clients or possibly our referral sources, establishing a trusting relationship is crucial to the success of your business.
What is frequently forgotten is how easy it is to incorporate the telephone in your relationship development.
By implementing the following 5 ways to develop your relationship via telephone, you will have better quality relationships and increase your sales:
1) “How Are You” Phone Calls
Jave you ever called someone, whether it’s a family member, friend, past client, or a referral source just to see how they are doing? Simply by reaching out to them, you can see how they are doing and it gives you an opportunity to share what you’ve been up to, including your business.
My husband, Gregg, is a commercial insurance broker and he got his largest client just by calling his friend while he was driving to work. These phone calls are easy to do as they can be done anywhere and at any time.
2) Answering the Telephone
Amazingly, it is now a rarity that a business’s telephone is answered by a live person. The sad thing is that many people do not leave voicemails and if you are doing a lot of marketing that can hamper your potential sales.
By having a real human answer your phone calls, your will callers look favorably on your business since they feel that you can address their concerns quickly and, as a result, you may see a huge jump in sales.
In fact, we had one client report that his sales increased 60% within the first 6 weeks of starting service with us and we were the only thing he added to his business at that time. Thus, consider adding a human touch to your business for better customer relationships and increased sales.
3) Discovery Session
Is your business the type of business where you can learn whether or not you are a good fit for a prospect who is looking for your services over the telephone? Consider doing a 15 minute discovery session in which you learn all about their needs and concerns.
By taking the time to listen to them, the will feel heard and you will earn their trust more quickly. A workshop that I loved that helped me hone my skills was Discovering a Match, taught by Steve Napolitan. He really dives into the sales process and helps you learn how to develop a relationship with the prospect during the discovery phase, helping you become more comfortable with each other.
4) Telephone Strategy Sessions
Depending on the type of business you have, you might be able to do a “strategy session” via telephone. This is usually applicable if you are in a service business and you can offer your service via telephone (i.e. consulting).
While it may not be as personal as an in-person meeting, it can be extremely effective if your clients are based far away from you. You can save yourself the drive time and the stress by meeting with them via telephone. (Zoom and Skype are also good options.) Plus, with the time you save, you can add more strategy sessions into your day, allowing you to help more people and make more money.
5) Giving a Referral
One of the best ways to develop or enhance a relationship is by giving a referral. What is even better is calling the person whom you are giving the referral to rather than just sending over the persons contact information with a message that reads “please call them”.
They get to hear the excitement in your voice as you give it to them (and you can hear theirs) and you have an opportunity to help them close the deal by giving them more details. They will appreciate it!
As you can see, there are many ways to develop your business relationships and increase your sales via telephone. If you’ve tried any of these, we’d love to hear what worked for you. Please share in the comments below!