Building relationships with customers leads to success, especially in a B2B environment where communication is more constant between both parties.

According to research, 70 percent of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated. The customer experience — whether they are new or existing customers — will impact their decision to work with you or move on to a competitor. Your sales team will need to understand how to maintain these relationships as they are typically the first line of contact with customers.

Here are three tips that your sales team should consider when building a long-term relationship with your customers.

1.    Be honest. Being open and honest will help instill trust between businesses and their customers, and the best way to do this is to put yourself in your customers’ shoes to understand their needs. Your customers and clients look to you to provide the consultation to help them address issues that may impact their bottom line. Being empathic will help you determine a remedy that is reasonable and help strengthen your relationship for the long run.

2.    Be respectful. Treat your customers the way you want to be treated and don’t try to be something that you’re not. You are the expert but that doesn’t mean you should ignore what your customer has to say. Create an atmosphere that is professional, friendly and respectful where your customers can comfortably come to you with a problem without feeling inferior.

3.    Be fearless. Sales isn’t easy and while being honest and respectful plays a role in sealing the deal, you’ll also need to be aggressive to achieve your goals. Be direct and simple – ask for the business but be able to tell them why your product or service will help them. It’s easier said than done but having confidence in what you are selling can go a long way.

Building strong relationships shouldn’t stop at the customer level but should also be implemented among your vendors and employees. Trust and loyalty is critical especially when a challenge arises and having the necessary resources to turn to is easier if there is a good relationship in place.

Want to learn more about how creating a fun atmosphere can spark your sales team? Head over here.

About Patrick Huff

Patrick Huff is a Direct Manager at SCA AFH Professional Hygiene and the winner of the TC7 Fearless award.