How to Build Authentic Relationships in Sales

Authenticity is a popular buzzword these days, but that doesn’t make it any less important when it comes to sales. In fact, a sale depends on authenticity. Authentic relationships with people who have influence and are invested in your success is pivotal to making sales, as well as marketing and business development.

Remember: People do business with other people.

Companies don’t hire people; people hire people. People make decisions about whether, where, and how to buy products and services. People recommend other people.

Authentic relationships are built on two key components:

  • Mutual service: If the relationship is not built on mutual service, it is merely a self-serving relationship.
  • Curiosity, care, and concern: Be curious and ask a lot of questions. In doing so you can better understand each other’s needs, strengths, and challenges so that you can be of mutual service.

Your curiosity, care, and concern will help you better understand how each party can be of mutual service to one another. When a relationship is mutually beneficial, it is far more likely to be long-lasting, collaborative, and effective. You are much more likely to deliver a product or service that is helpful and meets a felt need.

Not only is it important to be curious about the prospect and their wants and needs, but it’s helpful to be curious about yourself. Don’t force yourself to be someone you aren’t and don’t pretend to be anyone other than who you are. If your prospect enjoys playing golf but you’ve never played in your life, don’t pretend that you’re a golf pro. Acknowledge that you haven’t played golf and consider suggesting another activity.

People want to do business with people they like. If you are building authentic relationships built on mutual services and the “three Cs”, the stage is set for optimal sales opportunities.