Is It Time to Revisit One of the Most Basics of Sales?

basics of sales

For many, when it’s down to the final stretch of the year, it’s time to look forward and go back to the basics of sales. Revisiting one of the most important elements of selling can drive year-​end performance; that element is relationship-​building. “Revisit your touchpoints, your introductions, the lifecycle of typical interactions with prospects, and how you learn about and grow with them throughout the sales cycle,” Mike DeCoso writes for Sales Hacker. “Are there untapped opportunities for more meaningful and authentic engagement with the people you are selling to?”

Two relationship basics of sales

DeCorso provides guidance for sellers seeking to focus on strengthening relationships. His suggestions aren’t overly difficult or time consuming, but they can be powerful. Prioritizing relationship-​building is a must for today’s sellers, as it differentiates them from others who use a purely transactional approach. It’s important that sellers nurture relationships, both new and old; and DeCorso’s basic tips offer simple approaches to do so. 

For example, his first suggestion is to simply consider sending a "coffee break." As he explains, “One of the best strategies I’ve used to create a meaningful moment for a contact is simply sending a digital gesture of gratitude to their favorite coffee chain, coupled with a note that I hope this little caffeine boost helps them get through their busy day.” Obviously, you can swap tea or another favorite pick-​me-​up; the point is that this tiny touchpoint shows the client or prospect that they’re on your mind. This can have a big impact on how they see you, the seller. 

As I noted before, small gestures like this show that “you have taken the time to really get to know them and what they like, and you’ve retained that information. It shows that you aren’t just a salesperson; you are someone who has taken the time to get to know them as more than just a prospect or client. [And] sending along a little something shows genuine thought and care, and right now, empathy is so important.”

Get curious

DeCorso’s advice for going back to the basics of sales weaves in another important seller trait: curiosity. When working to strengthen relationships, tap into your curiosity to connect on a deeper level. He recommends that you really strive to learn what makes the client or prospect “tick.” Often, especially with longer-​term clients, sellers get caught up in their own goals, quotas and pursuits. They may lose sight of the client’s interests or not keep tabs on how those interests evolve. Refresh the relationship by refocusing on them; ask questions and let your curiosity guide you. “Look for opportunities to inquire, genuinely and deeply, about the person you’re trying to reach,” he writes. “Find out what makes them tick, what they value, what they’re trying to achieve in their role. Truly make the conversation about them.”

For inspiration, check out SalesFuel’s post about fueling your own curiosity as a seller

Research backs up these suggestions

Buyers want relationships with sellers. They want to like sellers. They want to feel like they are liked by the sellers. Which is why these relationship-​building basics of sales are so important to revisit–and often. Small gestures can mean so much, and SalesFuel’s own research supports this. According to the Voice of the Buyer study, buyers say top attributes they seek in a seller include caring about them and their business, respectfulness and likeability. Additionally, awareness of the importance of empathy is growing within the sales industry.

It may be time to give your current relationships some nurturing; both you and your clients and prospects will benefit. These simple suggestions may be what they, and you, need to take the relationship even deeper.

Photo by The Coach Space

Jessica Helinski

Jessica Helinski

Jessica reports on sales tips and credibility for SalesFuel. She is a graduate of Ohio University.