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Relationship Selling

ABCs of Relationship Selling: The Only 26 Skills You Need

Table of Contents:

Selling is one of the oldest professions known to man, and there will always be a need for it. Every business wants to reach new customers with their goods, and to do that they need effective salespeople. 

Sales is a numbers game, meaning if you generate enough conversations and follow through well, you’ll eventually close deals/ You have to be persistent in order to land new conversations though, which is why you need multiple sales skills. 

Breaking sales down into simple, repeatable skills will get you through the roughest conversations. That’s why we created the ABCs of relationship selling. Whether you read the whole blog post in one sitting or pick and choose what you need right now, this is the only list of sales skills you’ll need.

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A – Attention

A stands for attention in the ABCs of relationship selling. A couple decades ago, the Internet changed business activity as we know it. Instead of handling deals in person or over the phone, websites and video calls meant you could transact with anyone, anywhere in the world. 

Now that the Internet touches so many areas of our lives, it has caused a new phenomenon. When you can go anywhere online to look up information, it matters less that answers exist and more what kind of answers you’re looking up. In other words, the attention you give to a website or business is valuable. 

That’s as true for real estate agents as it is for clients. When you’re prospecting and booking meetings, are you affording your attention to just anyone? Or are you prequalifying leads every day? If the former, you’re giving time and attention to people who may not value it.

Think carefully about the leads you give attention to and whether or not they’ve met any prequalifications. Be familiar with why a smaller number of strong leads is good for business, as this affects your work more than you think.

B – Brevity

Though some people like this certainly exist, it doesn’t represent the typical salesperson. Most sales professionals these days are kind and knowledgeable–making it easier to have conversations with prospects. 

When you think of sales, are you picturing someone who talks a lot? If so, you wouldn’t be alone. Many people still have the impression that salespeople are sleazy chatterboxes motivated solely by money. Thankfully, that’s not the case, as there really are different types of sales persons.

That’s also why brevity is so important. Today’s consumers are informed and have more options than they’ve ever had. They don’t want to hear a monologue from you when all they need to get started is a few key details. Let the conversation develop naturally, and you can’t go wrong. 

C – Conversations

In most published sales literature, C usually stands for “close.” Of course, closing is essential for business, but it’s not what you want to be your focus in relationship selling. 

Conversations, rather than closing, is the C in the ABCs of relationship selling. Have you discovered what’s important to your prospect? Do you know what kind of buying timeline they’re on? If not, these are questions you need to be asking. 

The best way to do so is starting a natural conversation. Get to know your prospect on their level. Try to match their rate of speech and level of eye contact, too. These are little-known, yet ethical hacks that increase your influence over someone else. People subconsciously feel more comfortable around those who loosely mirror their behavior.

D – Depth

Achieving depth in conversations is necessary in an industry like real estate. Today’s consumers are savvy. They know options exist if they need to learn how to find a good real estate agent, so it’s in your best interest to be authentic from the start. 

The tricky thing about depth is it’s built one step at a time. You can’t dive right into a client’s favorite house characteristics if you haven’t prequalified them yet. On the flipside, if you wait too long to build real rapport, your client may think you’re hiding something. 

The best way to cultivate depth with clients is taking it slowly, but intentionally. For each question you ask, wait for them to answer and see if they answer in kind. Is their response suspiciously brief? Do they answer reluctantly, or are there several pauses in their answer? This is a sign they aren’t comfortable with some aspect of your communication. 

If so, it’s important to reflect on your own communication. Are you speaking too fast or too slow? Are you asking too many questions and not making it conversational enough? Prospects will feel more comfortable opening up if they don’t feel like it’s all about sales. 

Use informational and personal questions to take the pressure off the transaction. What’s led your prospect to learn how to get a home appraisal, how to hold an open house, or to get a comparative market analysis?

Are they looking for a home they can live in for five, 10, maybe even 15 years? This builds depth in a non-sneaky way while moving the conversation in the right direction. 

E – Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm is the E in the ABCs of relationship selling. It should be on every agent’s list of relationship selling strategies, and it’s an overlooked part of how to grow a real estate brokerage, too. People are happier to speak with a salesperson who’s excited about the conversation. 

Enthusiasm can be best described as real happiness about talking with someone and getting to know them. It’s not forced extroversion that leads to you doing all the talking, or cheeky behavior designed to replace serious conversation. It’s a genuine energy that surrounds your conversation and manifests through your natural passion for selling homes. 

The thing about enthusiasm is prospects know it when they feel it–and you will too. If you’re looking forward to the conversation, you won’t need fake ways of pumping yourself up. You can simply greet your client warmly and start asking them about their week. Then let the conversation continue to flow naturally! 

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F – Failure

Yes, failure–it’s inevitable that you’ll face it multiple times throughout your career. To be human is to fail, but that doesn’t mean you are a failure. Learning from your mistakes is crucial if you want long-term success. 

First, let’s consider a few forms of failure in real estate. You may miss an appointment, forget to follow up, lose a deal, or not know how to generate real estate leads. These are all disappointing experiences that can cause you to wonder if moving forward is worth it. 

The good news is yes, you can move forward. But first you have to learn what happened and how to be better moving forward. Did you forget an appointment? Book everything through your online calendar and sync it with your phone. 

As an old saying goes, failure can be your greatest teacher if you’re willing to be one of its students. Everyone fails at times, so remember that what’s happening to you isn’t unique. This can be the catalyst needed to keep your business moving forward. 

G – Gratitude

If there’s one concept author Larry Kendall emphasizes in his book Ninja Selling, it’s gratitude. Kendall, founder of The Group (a real estate brokerage in Colorado), encourages his team to practice thankfulness daily–a big part of the ABCs of relationship selling.

Kendall writes that gratitude is a key perspective unlocking the biggest opportunities in life. If you’re grateful for what you already have, you place yourself in the right mindset for success. You start to see opportunities to serve others everywhere, which leads to more opportunities for you. 

Gratitude is essential in relationships too. If you’re thankful for each new sales conversation, you’re far more likely to treat your prospect with respect and understanding. Without gratitude, they’re just another sales call in your calendar. You’ll miss the chance to build a new connection and get potential referrals down the road. 

Before you start your workday, think of at least three things you’re grateful for. This is an exercise in humility and shows that you can never become so successful that there aren’t things to be thankful for. It also keeps your attitude in check, preventing rude or calloused interactions towards clients. 

H – Handshake

One may expect H to stand for honesty (and that would be a great choice). The importance of honesty and truth is covered later on. 

Handshake was selected for H because of its underrated importance. Research indicates about 70% of people aren’t confident in giving a handshake, which is all the more reason to have yours down. A firm but friendly handshake improves your relationship selling skills.

One, it communicates professionalism. As an agent or broker you need to be able to set the tone for the conversation. If you start off reluctant or as though your lead has all the power in the conversation, it’s unlikely to go well. 

Two, it shows you’re confident. A weak handshake–even if it wasn’t intentional–communicates reluctance and immaturity. Your prospects are shopping for the biggest financial purchase in their lives and want someone who knows what they’re doing.

Your handshake is one of several nonverbal elements that communicate your self-management habits. People–including clients–want to work with others who are confident and gregarious. Practice your handshake with an honest friend or family member until it feels natural. 

I – Intentions

I stands for intentions in the ABCs of relationship selling. What’s the importance of intentions? It determines why you’re in business and what you’ll spend your time on. 

Real estate is an industry driven by relationships above anything else. If your motivations for starting in real estate include helping people find homes, you’re already ahead of those who just want to make a quick buck. 

Intentions are rarely formed overnight, however. It’s smart to first write down all of the reasons you want to be in this industry, and then start associating them with actions you can take. 

For example, one of your intentions may be to “help 100 people find and buy their next home within the next five years.” This is achievable, but how will you make it happen? You need to reverse engineer your goal through your intentions. 

Given that you want to close 100 deals in five years, that’s an average of 20 deals per year. If the typical real estate agent closes about 12 deals per year, and they make about 60 to 100 cold calls per week, how many would you need to make? You’d need to place about 120 to 200 cold calls a week minimum to hit your long-term sales target. 

As you can see, intentions can reveal your goals. If your intentions don’t provide enough clarity on what your goals can be, you need to change them. Refine your intentions until they point directly to your goals. 

J – Joy

J stands for joy because it’s a big part of becoming successful! It’s similar to enthusiasm, but in a sales context, joy is finding happiness in daily opportunities. 

When starting with relationship selling, you will have tough experiences. You’ll have prospects who treat you poorly even though you didn’t do anything bad. Some prospects will grill you with every question under the sun, some that aren’t even relevant–just to try to get under your skin. 

You may even have conversations that start off well but turn sour after a time. These are difficult occurrences to bounce back from. Even so, it’s important to take something away from such interactions. 

Can you find a learning opportunity in a conversation that went south? Were you reminded of real estate branding ideas you can implement in your business? Though not fun questions, there’s almost always a silver lining to unexpected events.

Beyond being joyful in hard moments, you can practice joy as a daily attitude. What conversations are you excited about today? Are there any events coming up that you’re looking forward to? Reflecting on your day, what went well that you’re thankful for? These are all joy-inducing mindsets that can change your world one week at a time. 

K – Kindness

Kindness should already be part of what you do, but it’s also included in the ABCs of relationship selling. The skill of kindness goes a long way in every interaction, no matter what you want to accomplish. 

What does kindness look like in a practical sense? First, it looks like acknowledging someone else. You can sense kindness in how someone speaks to you, their smile, and body language. When you speak with clients, strive for conversations to feel like talking with a friend. This doesn’t mean befriending your clients; it means treating them with hospitality and personality. 

Second, kindness is about your behavior. If for some reason your prospect grows impatient or has more questions than your typical client, take it all in stride. You are there to serve them, and if they have different needs than another client, that’s okay. The only time to limit interactions is if a client becomes abusive, including yelling, blatant ignorance, or defaming your character. 

Third, kindness is about going beyond what’s expected. Most people expect average service… because most professionals provide an average outcome. Kindness is the ingredient that boosts an average experience to an incredible one. Whether it’s writing a card of congratulations to a new buyer or canceling a personal meeting to go above and beyond for a client, there are infinite ways to be kind. 

L – Listening

This blog post wouldn’t make the cut for comprehensive relationship selling articles unless it included listening! Listening is likely the most important skill in your entire relationship selling toolkit. 

It may sound obvious to some, but when listening you must put your speaker first. Keep your body language attuned to them, make eye contact, and affirm what they’re saying. Allow them time to finish their thoughts without interruptions. If anything seems unclear, ask them clarifying questions so you don’t assume anything. 

Practice these same behaviors whether you’re talking with a brand new lead or a previous client. Everyone deserves the same level of respect, regardless of how much or little business they’ve done with you. 

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M – Mind

In the ABCs of relationship selling, M is for mind. Selling real estate is inherently filled with strong emotions. As such, it takes a smart person to keep themselves collected in the midst of tough conversations. 

That’s where your mind comes in. Driven real estate professionals understand that the mind is their greatest battleground. If you’re letting your energy get tossed around by every ghosted meeting or dead-end call, you’ll become distracted. Instead, you need to prepare your mind before every workday. 

You don’t need to have the same mental preparations as everyone else, but there are numerous examples to find inspiration from. Some journal their thoughts for 15 minutes as soon as they wake up. Others spend 30 to 60 minutes exercising. Still, others practice gratitude by meditating or praying which clears their mind of toxic thoughts. 

Whatever works for you, put it in your schedule and don’t make any excuses. When your mind is clear and sharp, your interactions with clients will show it. They’ll sense a confident, grateful person who is eager to serve. That’s right where you want to be!

N – Neighbors 

In real estate, the importance of warmth and hospitality can’t be overstated. That’s why N stands for neighbors, which is how you should strive to treat everyone. 

You don’t need to get to know every neighbor in your neighborhood, but it’s incredibly useful as a sales mindset. Every prospect you meet–young, old, experienced, and new–is someone’s family member or neighbor. Everyone is a parent, sibling, friend, child, or coworker to someone else. 

With this perspective, it’s much easier to treat prospects with grace and friendliness. Most people are willing to hear your pitch, possibly more, if you treat them the way you’d want to be treated. You’ll be surprised by the degree to which people open up when they realize you’re human, too. 

O – Openness

A healthy degree of openness in your daily conversations with clients is essential. If you go into meetings thinking you already know what the outcome will be, you’re asking for conflict. 

On the other hand, if you go in knowing what your ideal outcome is but stay responsive to feedback, you’re in an excellent position. Being a skilled sales professional isn’t about pushing your way through; it’s about understanding your client’s needs. 

In order to understand people, you have to be open to them. Practice taking time during sales conversations specifically to paraphrase back what you’re hearing. This is a crucial element in the ABCs of relationship selling! 

P – Power

With a title like power, you may think this paragraph is about how to get more of it. That would be too easy, though. Maintaining power properly isn’t about accumulating more; it’s about understanding how to use it.

Power is a misunderstood word. Many people are taught that power can only be used in a negative fashion, such as a tyrannical politician or abusive family member. While these things do happen, and they are examples of power, it’s only one potential use of it. 

Power is rightly thought of as a tool. Take a hammer for example. When used appropriately, a hammer applies force to nails, which are driven into bodies of wood. This process can be used to make a wood structure or repair something that’s broken. A hammer can also be used inappropriately, such as trying to attack someone with it or simply pounding away without any nails in sight. 

Seen this way, the outcome of power depends on who has it and why they are using it. For example, as an agent you have power that your clients don’t. You’re better at negotiating prices, valuing property, and spotting the trends in a local region. You can use this power to lower costs for buyers or increase them for sellers. 

Understanding power is understanding its ethical uses. The more influence you discover you have, it’s important to use it wisely. Don’t leverage your power for your own gain. Look closely for ways both you and your clients can benefit. In many cases, helping your clients succeed creates wonderful testimonials for your business.

Q – Questions

Asking questions is at the heart of learning the ABCs of relationship selling. Questions are one of the many tools we use to communicate as humans. 

Asking a question engages your prospect in the conversation and invites them to share about themselves. When you ask questions, you:

  • Show you’re invested in your prospect or client
  • Add a personal touch to conversations
  • Uncover valuable information
  • Clear up potential misunderstandings 

Questions open the door to deeper understandings for both clients and agents. The better you become at knowing how to market yourself as a realtor through questions, the more natural your interactions become.

Instead of wondering what to say next, you’ll have an intuitive feel for the conversational flow. You may not even need to prepare questions after a certain time because it will just happen. 

Remember to balance your questions with statements, too. If all you’re doing is asking questions, it will feel more like an interrogation than a conversation. You want to show your human side. You can accomplish this by sharing facts about yourself and commenting on the topic of conversation.

R – Rapport

Learning how to build rapport is one of several essential relationship selling techniques. It combines the sales side of your profession with the personal and human side. 

Everyone wants to feel like they are a human being with valid needs and emotions–especially because that’s true. Creating a personal selling environment with your leads is easy when you know what to do. Let’s take a look at the essentials: 

  • Start with a smile and firm handshake. If you’re meeting your prospect in person, this is a must. These nonverbals communicate confidence and respect. If you’re doing a video or phone call, be sure your voice expresses enthusiasm at the top of the call. This is exemplified by a slightly higher tone and somewhat faster pace of speech. 
  • Mirror your client’s body language. Indirectly imitating body language is an ethical means of persuasion. Whether you’ve learned about it or not, people tend to like those who mirror their bodily positions. If someone is standing up straight, they’ll feel more comfortable talking with someone who also has great posture. If someone’s leaning back while sitting in a chair, relaxing your own posture will help them feel open around you. This is a nonverbal way to communicate that you’re safe and approachable–even if it’s your first time meeting someone. 
  • Ask them how their day is going. This is a simple, unassuming question that helps your prospect feel at ease. It doesn’t require them to share any private information and it communicates that you care. It helps you understand your client better without getting too personal. 
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S – Selling

Ahh, yes–S must stand for selling in the ABCs of relationship selling! It’s too fitting, and after all, sales is a learnable skill–just like the skills necessary to master content marketing.

Selling is a skill you can practice your entire life and never become a master of. That’s why it’s vital to get as much practice as possible. 

Perhaps the biggest hurdle to get over in selling is the fear of rejection. It’s natural to worry that each person you talk to will say no–which holds hundreds of salespeople back. 

I hate to break it to you, but rejection is inevitable. There will be leads who reject your offer just because they didn’t like how you said it. Prospects will find all kinds of reasons to avoid doing business with you, but you can’t let this get you down. You must persist through each difficult moment to find the next opportunity. 

Remember that by selling, you’re helping meet people’s needs. The purest form of selling isn’t pushing a product on someone or trying to get them to make a decision they’re resisting. Real selling is helping people discover that the ideal solution to their problem exists in your product or service. 

T – Truth

In sales, it’s still common to believe that altering the facts to win business is an acceptable move. You may be afraid the price point is too high, the offer isn’t right, or there’s a bad product-to-market fit. Tweaking a couple details is about as tempting in these situations as ever. 

However, your reputation as a professional depends on you telling the truth. You must stick with the facts even if that means using different real estate marketing ideas

Telling the truth is essential for growing a client base. It’s closely related to reliability, which means you’ll do what you say you’ll do.

When you tell your client you can only negotiate a 1 to 2% price increase, they may be a little disappointed. But this is far better than telling them you can fight for a 5% price increase, only to find out that you were desperate for their business. 

If they agreed to work with you and found out you couldn’t deliver on that opportunity, their trust will be broken. It will be harder to win back because you could have told the truth from the beginning. 

U – Understanding

Stephen Covey, author of the world-renowned The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, is famous for saying: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” His statement isn’t just a nice thing to hear; it’s both true and practical. 

Taking time to understand your prospects is crucial. It’s a deep process of putting your own ideas and preferences aside to hear what your client has to say. This is often referred to as global listening, or listening to understand your speaker–not merely to respond. 

This means not just listening to the words your client is saying, but understanding the meaning behind their words. Tone of voice represents about 38% of what is being communicated in any given conversation. If you neglect these details, you’re missing a key part of what’s being communicated. 

Understanding what people are saying and why gets easier over time. The more you listen to people and different kinds of people, the better listener you become. 

V – Volume

No, this isn’t referring to speaking volume (though it’s always good to watch your voice!). This is about keeping your sales pipeline full so you never run out of conversation opportunities. 

Anyone with sales experience knows that generating sufficient lead volume is integral to success. Even if all of your appointments end with a sale and clients are happy to refer you, you’ll run out of leads at some point. You need a system that’s bringing in fresh leads every month so you can focus on serving clients. 

How can you maintain a high volume of new leads? Here are a few strategies you can implement within a few days: 

  • Designate some time each week for lead generation. You won’t have new people to talk with if you aren’t inviting people through your digital door. Agents and brokers need at least one semi-passive means of generating leads–and the time to set up such a system. Look over the last month and determine when you were the least busy. This is a great time to blog, learn video editing tips so you can make great videos, or update your lead magnet. Schedule this same time every week, and before you know it you’ll have a consistent stream of leads whenever you want them. 
  • Segment your contacts into cold, warm, and hot buyers. Another way to keep your volume high is organizing your contacts. Everyone you talk with is going to be a slightly different point of the buyer’s journey, but you can categorize them into cold, warm, and hot. Most of your leads will be in the cold category, as you’ll be contacting them for the first time. These are people who don’t know you or your offer yet. As leads respond to your phone calls and emails, move them into the warm or hot categories. Warm leads are those familiar with your offer but not ready to buy, and hot leads are those actively considering a purchase. Remember to check out our ultimate guide to email marketing if you need help maximizing the inbox. It includes the best time to send an email, email subject line best practices, email templates for real estate agents, and more email marketing tips.
  • Track the follow up stage that each lead is in. For this technique you’ll need a fairly detailed spreadsheet. Make a spreadsheet with the following columns: Full Name, First Follow Up, Second Follow Up, Third Follow Up, Needs Time To Think, Not The Decision Maker, Didn’t Respond, Price Too High, Requested No Further Contact, Other Reason. As you follow up with each lead, check the numbered follow up columns. Then as you speak with leads, mark down the objection they have. While it’s a good rule of thumb not to follow up too heavily, experts say leads don’t die off until 18 months after the initial interaction. This gives you a year and a half to keep them on your follow up list. 

W – Wait

Waiting is something most people don’t want to do. Indeed, we spend a lot of time waiting for opportunities, conversations, weekends, and even meals. So, what does the word wait have to do with selling? 

It turns out waiting has a lot to do with relationship selling. Waiting is borderline magic if you know how to use it well. 

In sales, it’s hard to hold back from asking for the sale. As soon as it seems like your prospect is even halfway there, you want to close the deal and secure your commission. This is also the most important time to sit back and let your client make the next move. 

Many people feel it’s impolite to say no, even in sales conversations. Since they’re already sitting there with you, if they don’t say yes to the offer, they may not say no. Waiting gives them time and space to consider what their next move is. The more authentically you give them space, the more comfortable they’ll feel moving forward.

X – (E)xuberance

There aren’t always relevant words that start with the letter X, so we went with exuberance here. It’s difficult to build a successful career in sales without energy, so this word is well worth its section. 

Exuberance is the state of being lively, cheerful, and excited. It’s right up there with enthusiasm and creates fresh experiences out of otherwise monotonous conversations. 

With all the talk of liveliness and exuberance, you may be wondering, “How do I stay genuine in these conversations?” After all, walking into every interaction with fake levels of enthusiasm won’t do you any good. Your prospects will see through it and wonder what got into you. 

Exuberance is best used authentically and at the beginnings of conversations. You should be excited to meet a new potential client. If not, that’s a sign you probably shouldn’t have booked the meeting! 

As long as you’re being yourself, relaxed, and smiling, you’ll do great. Let your natural enthusiasm for real estate shine through, and you won’t have a single concern about the outcome of the conversation. 

Y – Yes Set

Sales is a tough skill to develop; there’s no doubt about it. Even sales professionals with decades of experience may still dread rejection and silence from leads. Developing an approach with prospects that won’t scare them off is challenging.

If you’re thinking there must be a smarter way to increase your close ratio, you’re correct. One of the best ways to persuade your leads towards a deal is by putting them in a yes set. 

A yes set is the mental state of having responded “Yes” to several previous questions. For example, let’s say you’re raising money for a non-profit. Instead of asking someone to donate right away, first you may ask them, “Hey, do you enjoy supporting causes you’re passionate about?”

They are likely to respond yes. Then you ask them, “You’re interested in helping homeless animals find forever homes, right?” Chances are they’ll say yes again. Now that you’ve put them in a yes set, when you ask for a donation to the organization, they’re far more likely to say yes. 

Getting your prospect in a yes set works wonders for your conversations. The best part is it’s an ethical strategy; asking questions means you genuinely want to know the answer. There’s nothing wrong with prompting your lead with questions you anticipate they’ll say yes to. 

Z – Zero In

Having all the sales skills you need is excellent. So, what comes after education? Zeroing in on goals and putting them into action.

Every successful business has goals that its staff is reaching toward. Without goals, you’re simply moving forward and hoping for the best. With specific, measurable goals, you’ll be much more likely to grow your profit and expand your sphere. 

Goals aren’t worth much unless they’re written down. To help you get started, here are essential questions to ask and write your answers to: 

  • What is the biggest obstacle in your business right now? Is it a lack of leads? Perhaps you have leads but not enough time? Whatever you’re facing, identify it right away. Your answer indicates what you need to spend most of your effort on. 
  • What’s the most important goal you can achieve within the next week? What is one task you can finish within the next week based on your first answer? Mark it down on your calendar along with the amount of time you need to get it done. 
  • How can you structure the above two matters into a longer term plan? Being productive in the short term is great, but it won’t lead to lasting change without consistency. Looking at the first task you completed as well as your end goal, you should be able to reverse engineer the steps in between. Is your end goal hiring an assistant who can handle paperwork for you? Creating a job description, interviewing candidates, and making a selection would all be middle steps. 
  • Who is going to keep you accountable? Any worthwhile goal includes an accountability partner. Make sure you pick someone who you trust and who will actually hold you to account. In most cases this is a mentor, coworker, or friend. Avoid choosing family members as accountability partners. While they love and support you, they’re the least likely to push you when you’d prefer to quit.  

Frequently Asked Questions About ABCs of Relationship Selling

Relationship selling is a skill that takes a lifetime to master. Though this comprehensive A to Z list is more than enough to get you started, you likely have questions beyond what’s in this blog post. If so, you’re in the right place. 

We researched frequently asked questions about the ABCs of relationship selling so you don’t need to. Check out the questions and our answers below: 

What Are The Four Main Elements of The Customer Relationship Process?

The four elements of the customer relationship process are superior service, clear presentation, customer needs analysis, and resilience. Let’s look at each one in detail. 

Superior service is self-explanatory–gaining someone’s trust begins with being professional. From your nonverbal body language and personal energy to the way you carry out appointments, prospects are paying attention. They’re looking to see if you treat every client the same or afford better treatment to those with deeper pockets. 

Clear presentation is key. This principle is in line with an old military aphorism that goes: “Don’t communicate in a way that you’ll be understood; communicate in a way that you can’t be misunderstood.” As an agent, you’re interacting with multiple clients, and clients are looking at several homes in context of their region’s housing market forecast. If the details of a property aren’t clear, it will get ignored. Keep it simple and you can’t go wrong. 

Analyzing your customer’s needs is likely the most essential part of the customer relationship process. Are you listening well and often? Are you making their needs a priority over your preferences? These actions will incrementally add to your success and deepen client relationships. 

Finally, resilience is part of the process too. You aren’t going to get a yes every time, which means you need a thick skin. The most successful salespeople aren’t the ones who land the most deals; they’re the ones who stick with it the longest. 

What Are The Rewards of Relationship Selling?

There are numerous rewards of relationship selling, including stronger two way communication, higher referral rates, and understanding your customers better. Let’s look closer at each of these three. 

Better two way communication is an immediate benefit of relationship selling. In traditional sales environments, the salesperson does most of the talking. If they do ask questions, they’re usually about the client’s thoughts on the offer, not the client’s experiences and needs. Relationship selling opens the conversation up to be far more reciprocal. 

Stronger referral rates are another benefit of relationship selling. When your clients feel like they can actually open up, they’ll be happy to share your work with friends and family. This creates an ever-growing cycle of new referrals where each person who gets referred to you wants to refer two or three more people to your business. This also happens to be the fastest way to get more referrals.

A deeper understanding of clients is a third advantage of relationship selling. You are in business because of your customers, so it’s to your advantage to embrace their needs. Understanding customers better is something that takes place over time. As you receive feedback and hear what clients love about working with you, you’ll pick up on valuable info. Adjust your work to match more and more of your clients’ feedback and you’ll be crushing it in no time. 

Why Do Salespeople Often Use Proof Statements?

Salespeople use proof statements frequently because it’s a means of transferring trust. Before we get into why they are effective, however, let’s examine what a proof statement is. 

A proof statement is any third party statement that strengthens the trustworthiness of a product or service. It’s similar to customer testimonials, but you can think of it more like a verified fact. Proof statements must come from someone other than family and friends, and it helps if the party is a household name. 

For example, a real estate agent can find building trust and rapport with clients difficult when starting out. However, if they can show clients that they were rated one of the best agents in their area, this is a huge trust booster. 

So, why do salespeople use proof statements so often? It’s because they foster trust faster and easier. Without proof statements, clients must place all of their trust on the salesperson. With a proof statement, customers have additional evidence that the salesperson’s content is trustworthy. 

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The ABC Path to Sales Success

With these alphabetically organized skills under your belt, you’re more prepared than your competitors. The ABCs of relationship selling can serve as a roadmap for every stage of your career, from polishing the basics to mastering nuances. 

Feel free to refer to this list whenever you need to center yourself. Sales is a tough job and even the best will have depressing days. Remind yourself that the selling process exists to help people find what they’ve always been looking for.

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