There are some people who are amazing in securing work or running businesses, but once it comes to meeting with clients and building relationships, they fall to pieces. This is because it can be difficult to build relationships with your B2B clients. One of the primary reasons that people tend to fail at this is because they become ‘too official’ when talking to their B2B clients. While you certainly need a level of professionalism, the relationship is never going to develop if the client thinks that you are just a robot that is programmed to tell them what they want to hear.
Key ways to build trust
If you want to build positive relationships, you need to establish trust. Trust is something that you build gradually and starts the first time you ever meet your (prospective) client. These are some qualities that you can use to build relationships:
● Be able to listen – There are too many sales and business people that barge into a room and immediately want to ‘own the room’. If you are just spouting sales lingo, it does not build trust. In order to build trust, offer solutions to problems, discuss, empathize, and listen to your client.
● Be open –You do not need to give out personal details about your life, but revealing a few little personal bits of information may work in your favour. Why not talk about the fishing trip you went on over the weekend or the vacation you just planned. This allows you to break the ice and connect on a personal level.
● Make sure to involve the client – Especially during the busy trade shows, you want to make sure that you are involving your client when you talk to each other. No one wants to hear the sales pitch that sounds as though you practiced it in the mirror for days. Make sure to involve your client in the sales process, ask them to offer opinions, and encourage them to ask questions. Most importantly – listen to what they have to say!
● Be spontaneous – If you walk around at a tradeshow, you may notice that many people appear to be on autopilot. Sure, they have polished and practised sales speeches, but the second that the conversation goes in a different direction, they seem to lose this aura of confidence and want to redirect the conversation back to what they know. This may make those people appear less than trustworthy. Being spontaneous will make you come across as far more natural.
● A little humour goes a long way – No one is expecting a 30-minute stand-up comedy routine at a trade show, but you can build trust, ease the pressure, and break the ice with a bit of humour. This may make people warm up to you rather quickly and establishes trust.
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