- The Follow Up
- Do B2B Buyers Care About Relationships?
Do B2B Buyers Care About Relationships?
The Importance of Relationships in Sales
Good Morning and Happy National Free Shipping Day! If you’ve been too focused on hitting quota to do any Christmas shopping, today’s the perfect day to get it done. But hey, if you're one of the 167 million Prime members in the US, every day is free shipping. So feel free to push it to next week. 🎁
In today’s Follow Up:
Do relationships matter in sales? 🤔
A sales call tip 📞
Sales stories across the internet 🖥️
A look at LinkedIn + a sales meme 😂
How Important is Relationship Building in Sales?
Let’s talk relationships.
Not the love kind. We’re talking businesses, babay.
The best business relationships can open up doors and create opportunities that you wouldn’t normally have access to.
But how important is your relationship with customers?
In 1990, 3 professors did a study to understand the connection between relationship quality and the success of a sales rep. They studied life insurance sales reps and interviewed their customers after the sale.
Relationship quality is not important during the initiation sale.
But it’s very important for future sales.
Instead of caring about the relationship, customers cared much more about the sales rep's expertise in the product.
So, that’s for B2C sales….but what about B2B sales?
Luckily for us, 10 years later, 3 more professors expanded on the original study to see if the findings were the same in B2B sales.
The study followed a Fortune 500 telecom company and interviewed 1,000 businesses that were spending at least $50K/year with them. They used the same relationship model and asked the customers the same questions after the sale.
*None of us know how to read that, but we all agreed… it looks fancy.*
They found that a lot of things are the same in B2C and B2B sales, but there’s also some big differences.
The study found that B2C customers find a sales rep’s expertise more important than B2B customers. Expertise is important in every sale, but the majority of B2B customers already have an understanding of the solution they’re buying. They’re not relying on the salesperson to get all of their info.
If a customer believes the sales rep is similar to them, they view them as more effective. Customers who share a similar background to their sales rep find it easier to communicate and relate on topics.
A good relationship is highly related to a sales rep’s expertise and behavior during customer interactions. To get the opportunity to build a relationship with a customer, a sales rep needs to prove they have expertise in their field. After they’ve proved their expertise, they need to show the customer that they’re a valued client, not just another sale. This means disclosing everything they should know and matching their communication styles.
The First Sale vs. Second Sale 🤝
First Sale = Expertise.
A sales rep’s expertise is the biggest factor in closing the first deal. Customers want to work with an expert when they’re making their first purchase. They don’t care as much about their relationship with the sales rep.
If you close new business: Being an expert is more important than being BFF’s with your prospect.
Second Sale = Relationship Quality.
During the second sale or renewal, customers care more about their relationship with the sales rep vs the sales rep’s expertise. They want to feel valued and trust the person they’re doing business with.
If you renew or upsell customers: Building a relationship is more important than proving you’re an expert.
B2C vs B2B: Expertise is important for all sales reps, but B2C customers find a sales rep’s expertise more important than B2B customers.
Similar backgrounds: When customers and sales reps share similar backgrounds, customers view them as more effective salespeople.
Building a good relationship: Expertise is required to start the relationship and behavior will build the relationship.
First sale: A sales rep’s expertise is most important during the initial purchase.
Second sale: Relationship quality is most important during the 2nd sale/renewal.
Do you close new business or renewals/upsells?
30 practical follow-up email templates
Speaking from experience – emails can take up too much of the workday.
So HubSpot eliminated the guesswork from a ton of potentially awkward communications, like reaching out after interviews, networking events, sales meetings and more. Take this pack of pristine follow-up emails.
30 direct messages included:
Professional, customizable templates
For prospects, recruiters, colleagues, and more
Save time, but not at the cost of personal touch
Stash this wherever you keep useful things.
Always make sure your custom fields are working…. 😂
Sales Meme of the Day
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