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Marketing / Attracting new business

Increasing sales by building relationships

In the pursuit of new business, do we sometimes focus too much on increasing sales and not enough on building relationships?

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One of the problems I often observe with clients is the lack of new prospects filling the sales pipeline. Too often the same obvious company names are bounded around as potential targets.

As a key point in the process of increasing sales is building relationships, I recommend an ongoing program where the focus is simply to create opportunities where introductions and relationships can start to be formed with people or companies in your audience.

If you develop a relationship with someone it gives you permission to go back to them again. However if you don’t develop a relationship and you try and sell someone something and they don’t want to buy it, what have you got left? Answer – nothing!

I tell my clients to focus on building relationships and increasing sales will take care of itself.

"I tell my clients to focus on building relationships and increasing sales will take care of itself."

Whilst initially this approach might seem lacking in direct results, a year down the track when you have established relationships you will be thankful for the previous effort.

Want more articles like this? Check out the attracting new business section.

Put yourself in a position where you can meet potential prospects and where they can experience what you have to offer. Develop opportunities where you can demonstrate your brand in action so that your audience is attracted to you.

Also, it’s a good idea to think outside the square when looking for new prospects

It may well be the company that you have not previously heard of that would benefit most from talking to you, rather the company everyone has heard of and who all your competitors are approaching.

Think of who needs what you have to offer the most; is it the established multinational bank or the ambitious and growing new entrant into the financial services market?

Many of the companies that I have sold to over the years are companies I would have never had on my top ten list, it was simply that I created the opportunity for meeting them by getting out and about and having my radar switched on.

So start a program for building relationships today, create the opportunities for meeting people and keep the radar on!

Richard Woodward

facilitates strategy workshops and planning days, and trains and coaches business development teams helping his clients to develop clear and effective business development strategies and attain the required skills, knowledge and attitudes to confidently develop business.

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