Combine Value and Relationships for Sales Success

My visit with a banker turned a boring trip into a sales success story.

A few weeks ago, I stopped in the bank to make an administrative change to one of my accounts.  Since I bank at a local institution, I can actually speak with the branch manager.  While he was helping me with this change I asked him a question:

“Who can I connect you with to help you achieve your business goals this month?”

The manager was a little taken aback by the question, but, he answered it.

“I’d love to meet a busy Real Estate attorney. They need a trust account to hold money for closings and they also know lots of people who need loans to buy houses. Those are great clients for our bank.”

I’m sure the banker did not expect what happened next.

I set lunch appointments with three different real estate attorneys for the banker. The attorneys were clients and friends of mine and, while there is no guarantee they will work with the bank, I delivered value to four people.

This morning I received a phone call from the banker. He offered me an opportunity to speak at a national association meeting – he is on the planning committee.

I didn’t pitch myself. I didn’t ask for anything. I offered value.

Things don’t usually happen this quickly. It often takes years for someone to provide reciprocal value. Sometimes they will not have the opportunity to ever do so. But there are some steps you can take to give yourself the best opportunity.

They are:

Step one: Offer value to initiate the relationship.  The example in this article demonstrates this step.

Step two:  Deliver.  You cannot simply offer to help and then go away. You must actually deliver the value. If I didn’t set at least one meeting, my conversation would have been meaningless.

Step three: Stay in touch.  The banker and all three of the real estate attorneys are on my weekly email newsletter list.  I communicate with them regularly.  They know I keep the ‘top-of-mind.” This regular communication is an important reminder of our relationship and my desire to be helpful.

The key to success in relationship-based selling is putting the relationship ahead of the transaction.  Make sure you show your prospective client you want to enable their success.  The solutions you offer (the things you sell) are valuable but the relationship with the client is even more valuable.

Transactions have a finite value, but relationship value is limitless.

For more sales success strategy, be sure and order a copy of The 60 Second Sale.