Does Relationship Make Any Sense In Business/Sales – III

Dear all,

Was away for some time due to what I call the “cortisol” effect during yearly closing.

Now, this experience sharing session is my third and last on Relationship building / maintaining relationships in business, so I am going to share and talk about something, which is very different from the way we look at things.

Relationships in business is all about TRUST. Very often we confuse between “commitment ” and trust ….or “dependability” and trust, which is a very common mistake in the corporate world. Commitment or Dependability happens when you say & do exactly the same things you have promised to do, and people confuse that with TRUST.

Wrong!!!

TRUST is a “feeling” and it’s never about what you do or say only. I am sure WE ALL have friends, who are a complete failure in many things that they have done in their life, both personally and professionally …….. but still we TRUST them. That’s why I wrote that TRUST is a feeling and it’s not about keeping commitments only. People will consider you to be “responsible” when you keep your commitments but they “may not still” TRUST you.

Now, this is the core of a relationship in any business. Even in the business relationships, where people pay bribe…..please remember that the person paying a bribe and the person taking a bribe, TRUST each other that they would not let each other down.

In Sales, YOU are responsible to build this TRUST factor with your customers, both internal and external, and then the business relationships are built on that…which mostly we don’t notice so minutely. It is also this TRUST that make brands different from one another and makes a cult out of a brand ….. like Harley Davidson, or Apple, or Virgin Airlines, or South West Airlines, or TATAs ….and so on. People TRUST these brands, and they believe what the brand believes……. so much so, that you will find people with Harley Davidson corporate Logo Tattooed on their arms.

When a person does that, he is NOT advertising for Harley Davidson …… he is saying something about his OWN SELF. Harley Davidson, as a brand, believes in Freedom, Brotherhood, Being a Rebel, Non Conformist, Not following the Fixed Formats of life….and so on, and they believe in these values so much, and so strongly from the core of their heart, that people start believing in those values along with them, with the same level of intensity. So much so, that they get tattoos done on their bodies because they TRUST the brand and the values associated with that brand.

We need to understand that these tattoos reveal what these people believe in, their philosophy and their thought process about THEIR OWN SELF, which are inspired by the brand. That’s why I wrote that, people who carry a brand or get tattoos done, are talking about “themselves” NOT about the brand.

When we meet our customers (now whenever I say this, it means internal and external customers, both) on our daily life, we communicate a certain set of values and beliefs to them, about US and also about the BRAND we represent, through the discussions that we hold. Now, IF these set of values and beliefs are strong and honest enough, then the following things happen…

1) Our customers also believe in them……exactly the way a person believes in a brand like Harley or Apple.

2) Once THEY believe what WE also believe, then they feel that they BELONG to the same set of values.

3) And then ……. THE TRUST builds up. As I said it’s a feeling and not an act…..so, the customers start TRUSTing the Sales Person, and then ……. only then …….finally agrees to do business.

The very fact that a customer “asks” many questions and “clarifies” his doubts with a salesperson, is based on this TRUST factor, which a salesperson has created through his honest communication and the core values of his brand ………..and therefore the customer “perceives & visualizes the benefits that he is going to get” because of this association based on TRUST.

So, it’s a Must that you remain Honest in Sales as a profession, and believe in your own brand and its values…… because unless our customers believe what YOU believe, the TRUST will be missing, and if the TRUST is missing then the business will never happen.

Many people say, and I am sure you have also heard before, that “first a customer Buys YOU….and then he BUYS your product or service”. This is nothing but the TRUST they are talking about and I explained WHY & HOW its created, maintained and used for Relationship Building…… be it business or personal.

Before I sign off….. the most important thing about this whole thing called TRUST in Relationship Building is that ……. YOU HAVE TO BE ABSOLUTELY HONEST…AND CANNOT FAKE IT. YOU CAN NOT. IT NEVER HAPPENS. PERIOD !!!!

Without TRUST People will still do business with you, if you are selling something he really needs, but a long term solid business relationship will never materialize unless you work on TRUST ( again please remember that it’s a Feeling and not an act) and TRUST, in turn, will never materialize unless you are HONEST in your beliefs.

If you are honest, customers will FEEL …. and if you are NOT they will FEEL that too. They may not say ……. But they will FEEL ( see through as we call it)…..and a long term relationship will never happen EVER !!!

Have a great week ahead friends.