It’s All About Relationships in Sales

Team Spirit

When training my team of Property Specialists, I cannot emphasize enough how sales is really about relationships. After all, we are selling to PEOPLE – human beings who have emotions, who go through various life experiences, and who, at the point of being “offered” an investment property, may or may not be at the right place at the right time.

Of course, at the end of the month, the bottom-line always matters. But how do we reach our sales targets while growing in the business of sales?

We develop meaningful relationships with people.

It always starts with genuinely liking people. If we don’t, it will show. We need to learn to have compassion and show kindness, especially when our well-prepared sales pitch and fliers are rejected time and time again. Smile at the face of rejection. Easier said than done, you say. Well, it takes practice – lots of practice.

Before we can even make our “first sales move” or the presentation, a potential client will need to like us. Yes, you read it right. They need to first like us. So we need to exert some effort at being likeable. How do we do this?

Show genuine friendliness. It is often said that it is almost cliché-ish , that the eyes are the window of the soul. I could spot unfriendly, suspicious or malicious eyes a mile away. So can a potential client. So character is key. If we or others begin to notice that we are more ungrateful, more judgmental, more critical of others, more envious, then it’s time for deep self-reflection and change. One cannot fake a genuine smile that begins with the eyes. We cannot give what we do not have.

How else can we make potential clients get to like us?

Look smart and be smart. Let’s face it, people are attracted to good looks. It’s not fair but it is what it is. People are also attracted to well-groomed sales people. This does not mean that women need to wear micro mini skirts and plunging necklines. Sure, this catches a lot of attention, but mostly the wrong attention. It also screams cheap and unprofessional.

Be smart simply means that you know what you’re selling and can present it in the most interesting yet faithful manner, and hopefully in the least amount of time.

Next, a potential client needs to trust us – trust us enough to give us their time and, perhaps, make that investment with us.

They learn to trust us after they like us. It’s not the other way around.

They learn to trust us when we listen to them first. When we ask them the right questions about themselves and not talk about the project yet.

They learn to trust us when they see in our eyes and body language that we truly care about what they are saying, that they have our full attention (put your phone down and stop looking at it) and do not have an agenda. Remember, they already know that we are sales people. Of course they know that we would like to make a sale. Just listen first.

They learn to trust us when we are finally able to identify their “pain” and are able to address it and offer a solution to it.

These are but a few important aspects of developing meaningful relationships in the sales business, but once applied, will turn clients into friends that could last a lifetime.

Believe me, it happened to me.

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Is Our Helpline Busy?

I just received two phone calls from two very distressed friends. It had been a very long and stressful couple of weeks and I hardly felt capable of handling any more stresses. Let’s just say I’ve reached my “stress limit” and any more would have sent me spinning into the orbit of depression.

As servants in the ministry, we are often placed in situations where we need to be – or are expected to be – dispensers of comfort and encouragement. I usually don’t have any complaints, but when I have some painful and difficult issues to deal with myself, it becomes very difficult to be a source of comfort. When my own world is filled with noise and unrest, listening to people’s problems becomes a source of distress and even pain.

It is difficult to emotionally detach myself from other people’s problems, especially when friends and family are involved. I believe that as women, we were created to be more empathetic towards others because of the nurturing spirit we were given. But what if, weighed down by our own hurts and concerns, we have nothing left to give? What if we have reached our “stress limit” but our hurting brothers and sisters continue to dump their emotional burdens on us?

What if the noise inside our heads becomes a very deafening drum beat, where other people’s concerns are pounding mercilessly on our own? What do we do? Who can we turn to for help?

As humans, we can only give so much of ourselves at a certain time. The emotional resources God has given us get depleted too. And as we have so often heard, we cannot give what we do not have. With these in mind, do we stop giving of ourselves from time to time? Can we excuse ourselves and turn away a hurting soul? After all, we might cause more harm than good when our judgment is clouded and our emotions are far from rational.

God never turns us away whenever we approach His heavenly throne for help and comfort. He is always available for us even though we may sometimes feel that He is awfully quiet “up there”. And while, unlike Him, our resources get depleted, the Lord Jesus always has a fresh supply of resources ready for our taking. His Holy Spirit not only dwells in us, but He also eternally speaks to our hearts! And His Word is replete with wisdom and promises of encouragement, comfort and our daily provision.

Jesus loves us. He has not left us here on earth without leaving us with the tools we need to cope with the challenges of our daily lives. He has left us with a “help line” that we can call anytime, any day. It is never too busy! And when we begin to feel that we no longer have the strength and comfort to give others, we can rely on His promise: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the same comfort we ourselves have received from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, italics mine)

When there was nothing else I could say to my friends to comfort them as they spilled their hearts out over the phone, I turned to God’s word and sent them messages of encouragement through their mobile phones. I pored over the Psalms, looking for a prayer I could send them, and ended up praying those same verses myself. It is really amazing how God can really, literally, give me the comfort I need through His Word, so that I can give the same comfort to others. Text messages are a great way to be of help and are instruments God can use to deliver His message of comfort and encouragement to His dearly loved children.

We don’t always have to speak in order to give comfort and encouragement. But we can always listen and keep our well meaning advice to ourselves. And if we, ourselves, are going through a rough time, we can always go to the One who never gets tired of helping us – the One who never runs out of love and encouraging words for us. We don’t have to take it all in by ourselves – in fact we shouldn’t! Let’s give it all and give it up to God. He can take it!

The next time my friends, or others, come to me with their burdens – and they will! – I will be sure to have my Bible next to me, or in my memory. I am by no means ready to handle all their concerns, and I don’t intend to. I am still going through a rough time but I know God is more than able to help me and my friends. He may still choose to use me as His “help line” for others in the midst of my own difficulties, but I also know He will continue to supply me with the strength and comfort I need to do so. After all, He is my true “help line”.