Bill Johnson, President & CEO of Salesvue
What is the key to a healthy and eternal relationship? Whether on a personal or business level, communication is at the heart of all connections. And when it comes to a channel ecosystem, building networks between prospects, existing customers, vendors and resellers is essential, with strong communication skills serving as the central component to lasting networks.
The First Step In Taking Care Of Business
The fundamental communication methods are talking and listening, rapport building, questioning, understanding, persuading, presenting, clarifying and gaining commitment. Certain talking points will help company representatives gain and keep their current business relationships in tact while also providing the foundation to build new ones throughout the channel ecosystem.
First and foremost, customers need to hear about their problem. Because they have a need, representatives must be able to identify those needs by inquiring about the situation to gain a full understanding of the problem. This is where one of the fundamental communication methods comes into play: Listening. When one focuses on the problems of his or her customers, they simultaneously demonstrate they are capable and educated in finding the proper solution.
Additionally, it is important for vendors and resellers to trust that their partnerships are being upheld. When they have chosen appropriate partners, it is critical for companies to ensure they are managing those relationships to yield as much value as possible on both ends. By implementing a mutually-beneficial strategy and keeping communication transparent, the desired business result will be achieved.
Progress Yields Results
Once a solution for a customer’s problem has been identified, one must remember the binding element of their relationship: Communication. At this point, communication skills should be used to cover the many benefits your organization will be able to provide to ultimately correct the problem at hand.
For example, when collaborating with a customer regarding new software, the company representative should illustrate all elements of the solution: How it works, how they will execute it, how long it will take to implement and finally, the budget. In order for prospects and customers to trust the solution provider, they must be given details about why a solution will yield a solid return on investment. Seeing the entire process in a detail-oriented format enhances communication and trust.
Consistency Is Cardinal
The rightful contact has listened, planned strategically, managed relationships and communicated the solution. While these steps contribute to formulating a continual relationship, the underlying need to sustain the relationship is consistency. Whether it be prospects and customers or vendors and resellers, successful business relationships are built through both effective and constant communication.
After each conversation, interactions must be tracked and needs must be noted in hopes of achieving the desired end result during the next meeting. By controlling recency and frequency of communication, an entity can be assured no one is being ignored. The relevant audience will trust those who anticipate needs and consistently communicate with a meaningful solution in mind.
Strong communication, consistency and gaining trust in a relationship has proven advantageous for representatives, and lasting relationships are vital to the success of all businesses. When representatives follow these outlined steps and devote heavy focus to consistent communication, sales will be generated. As more sales leads come in, productivity across the ecosystem flourishes, leaving all parties satisfied.
Bill Johnson is President of Indianapolis-based Salesvue, a provider of prospecting automation software since 2006. As a career sales professional, he is committed to solving the important problems that exist in sales and sales management today.