Your Business Relationship: Tell Your Story, Don’t Just Sell Your Stuff

Handwriting Relationships BlackboardI recently helped my daughter sign up for her first post-paid phone. We did our homework, talking to the SAME phone salesman multiple times. I didn’t focus much on the business relationship because it was such a good deal.

Then came the day to make the purchase. EVERYTHING that could go sideways, did. Plus, my credit wasn’t actually what they had said two days earlier.

Bye, bye almost free iPhone 7. Instead my daughter now had to come up with 70% of the cost of the phone, which busted her budget and broke her heart as she had to drastically down grade her phone. Now we were looking to get screwed as little as possible. Sit with that for a second.

As the consumer we were reconciled with “getting screwed.”

Despite the misinformation, we still bought a phone. That salesperson was trained to get us excited for A HUGE discount on equipment, but then had us leaving with a big dent in her bank account. Buying a deal and selling from an aggressive position with no thought to the future or the business relationship puts both buyer and seller in a terrible position. It’s only about price. The seller didn’t understand my situation, and I didn’t have any loyalty to their brand.

Favorite Customer Questions

How do you avoid the customer’s post-sale disappointment? Sales people need to change how they treat people. Think about your THREE favorite customer sales. Then answer these three questions:

  • Do you know them on a first name basis? 
  • Can you name their spouse or children? 
  • Have you been to their house for a holiday or meal?

If you answered yes to these questions I have news for you. Those aren’t customers, they are called friends. The best sales are to those that like and trust you. The ones you got to know and found it more important to know about them than to take their money. That’s the groundwork for a successful business relationship.

It’s great to get to know people, it’s great to earn their trust before the give their hard earned money for your product or service. It is even more amazing when they become a REPEAT customer. How can you do this with your limited time?

Secret to a Better Business Relationship

Easy. TELL your story, don’t just SELL your stuff.

Business Relationship PosterI am obsessed with comic books, hence the be SUPER social! Comic books get you hooked into a story the fastest using the origin story. Think about all of the origin stories you know from comic books, TV shows, movies. They made you read or watch more, right?

That same process can get you the sales you are looking for long term. Selling NEEDS to be a long game, not a short one. People want to know you are trust worthy. That they have something in common with you. When you differ or disagree, they understand it and why.

So, HOW do you tell your story so that they eventually buy your stuff? Be you. Talk on social media. When networking, ask if there is anything they want to know and ask questions about them.

What are your hobbies? How did you pick your career? Send them emails and messages that cover more than just, “We are running a special, do you want in?”

Social media is an amazing tool that will allow people to get to know you from a safe distance, and then once they KNOW and trust you, they will contact you to purchase. They want to know what shows you watch, your favorite sports, and your pets. What makes you happy, sad, frustrated? What kind of things do you use for motivation, what kind of things, like politics, do you avoid? You know, the things you say and do when you are trying to make a new friend.

The MOST successful people that you look up to probably have more friends than sales. If you focus on developing relationships and developing rapport, you’ll build your network of friends. You will then see that the more they know about your story, the more they will like you and work to build your mutual successes.

What conversational topics help you best develop relationships?

Anthony Ryan

Anthony Ryan is the founder of anthonyryanmedia & be SUPER social! Professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He teaches WordPress, Facebook, Twitter and social media business etiquette to students each semester. Funny enough, he also teaches these to business owners.

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Anthony Ryan