In all these complexities, it’s easy to lose track of the simple, important things we can do to build strong relationships
Our team recently interviewed 50+ life science sales people and asked them for one piece of advice for a new salesperson, or a salesperson who wanted to improve. The first most common piece (unsurprisingly) was to listen more and talk less. Understand the customer and their goals.
The SECOND most common piece of advice: do what you say you’re going to do.
Use Simple Interactions to Build Reliability, Credibility
It may seem obvious, but simple transactions are often the foundations that strong, more complex relationships are built upon.
Transactional interactions are defined by deadlines and mutually agreed upon expectations. Successful transactional interactions simply mean delivering what was expected, on time.
Obviously, we want to build more complex relationships with customers, but it’s easy to get ahead of ourselves.
Few will trust that you appreciate the nuances of their organization or their problems and goals if you can’t issue a quote on time or provide the answer to a question.
Now, if a relationship is based solely of transactional interactions and never contains higher level interactions, the relationship can be commoditized. The salesperson can be replaced with another vendor (or even a machine).
However, chasing higher level interactions and ignoring the simple value of transactions isn’t sustainable. We need to prove a basic level of credibility and reliability (the components of trust) before we can start making strategic recommendations or Challenging the customer.