Build Client Relationships
You don’t close a sale; you open a relationship if you want to build a long-term, successful enterprise. — Patricia Fripp

That’s what we are trying to do at Relatas. Help you build client relationships, a long lasting one. What do you need to build a long lasting relationship with your client?

Know about your customer — Now let’s say you are a sales guy selling to the CEO at a firm who need help with their new mobile app. While selling what do you do:

Do you just sell your services hand over your rate card to the client
Do you try to understand what the customer wants and try to solve the problem on hand
Successful sales guys do the latter. They also do homework about the person, the company and competition before they head out for the meeting.

Challenge the customer, but be humble — The customer needs to know that you know what you are saying and you can do that by being on top of your game. Gone are the days when a services company could play on price points. Like Nandan Nilekani, ex-CEO Infosys once said “Our selling pitch so far was, ‘We have a 100 Java engineers, and we can deliver for you from offshore, now tell us what you want us to do.’ That is being replaced with ‘we can give you a technical solution which can cut your inventory expenses by $100 million’ “. Which has today changed to challenging the customer once you have understood the customers problem and provide them with a results based solution. This way the customer understands that you are also on board with him/ her on taking on the risks.

Imagine you are meeting Alan, CEO of a company and start off your meeting with “Hi Alan, I’m Sam VP, Sales at ABCXYZ and we have an amazing product for you. Currently we offering it at 10% discount to our standard pricing. Would you like to try it out? “. Possibly Alan hears this number of times in a day. How do you get his attention?

Now image the second scenario where you are meeting Alan, but have done little bit of homework. “Hi Alan, I’m Sam VP, Sales at ABCXYZ and congrats on the launch of your new product last week at WWDC. I understand you already have 15 customers and many more lined up. We tried your product and saw some amazing synergy with our product which I believe will help you gain more customers for your new product. I understand, your competitor launched a similar product today. ” Here you have the attention from Alan, because he knows

You have done your homework
You understand what he wants for his new product, traction
You are trying to give him a solution to increase his customer base and subtly introduced your product
You went further and researched on competitors
This is just the start of a lasting relationship. In future posts I’ll try to address how to build up on that and staying updated on what your client is upto.

At we try to help you with second scenario. We do the hard work to get the Business Relationship Intelligence that adds value to your daily interactions — Business or personal. Sign up for FREE.