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Building a Relationship Before You Sell

If you are selling services, physical products or digital information products like we do, then it is absolutely crucial that you build a relationship with your potential clients before you try to sell to them.

This is something that a lot of business owners and marketers fail to understand. Ultimately it can be their downfall and they end up missing out on an "eventual" opportunity to complete a sale.

Think Of It Like This

Probably the best way to explain this is with something you can visualise.  Imagine that you see an attractive lady or man sitting at the bar who you have never met before and you want to get to know them a little better. So you approach them and straight away, you ask them if they want to come home with you tonight.

What do you think it most likely to happen next?

You are probably going to end up with a sore face or a barrage of not so nice expletives.

You have to build a business relationship first

The issue with this approach, is that the person has not had time to get to know you. They don’t know what you’re like and if they are likely to have a good time with you and more importantly – they don’t know if they can trust you. For all they know, you might be a raving lunatic!

Another Example

Think about this scenario too. You are walking along the street minding your own business and someone approaches you. You have never met this person before in your life. But here they are, standing directly in front of you holding a watch. They ask if you want to buy it for $3,000 (£2,400).

How do you feel at that moment in time? What do you say to them?

You will probably be thinking that the person is a maniac or some form of con person. You will probably try to get away from as quickly as possible.

No one in their right mind would hand over that much money on something without knowing anything about it or without getting to know the person and trusting them. After all, what happens if something goes wrong, how can you rectify the situation or get your money back. 

Some Businesses And Marketers Fall Into This Trap

These examples might seem absurd, but this is essentially what many businesses are doing all the time.

If your website tries to sell a service or product straight away without giving any form of background or building some form of trust, then you are going to drive potential customers away before they have even had a chance to read through your site.

They may be interested in what you are selling, but if they haven't gotten to know your brand and they don’t know anything about your product or services, then they are very unlikely to buy from you straight away.

If all you are interested in, is selling to them with annoying adverts or pop-ups that drive people crazy - then you’re going to make them click on the browser "back" button and have them go to one of your competitors.

Now consider this approach.

When they land on your website and they find lots of amazing content that explains what you do, who you have helped in the past (customer testimonials), who you are, your background - then they can start getting to know you. You are building a relationship.

Building a respectable business relationship

What's more. They find informative content about your products or services that explains how it can help them. This is know as "what is in it for me". This allows the visitor to form a positive opinion of your business and hopefully to become interested in what you are offering. They are becoming more comfortable with you.

If you are in a position to offer free content or a free trial, then it gives them a chance to test what you can offer. This will help build trust.

As a result, they are much more likely to buy from you in future. So instead of focussing on making a sale, focus on building a relationship.

Politely asking them to join your mailing list (for free) gives you an opportunity to continue to strengthen your relationship. Keep sending them useful information that helps them, and eventually the sales will come to you!

Help a Friend

Everyone knows someone with either their own business or who is involved in sales. Please share this post so that they can read it while drinking a coffee - it might just help them convert more sales.

About the author

David Reid

David Reid

David previously worked with Europe’s No.1 Marketing Agency & the World’s No.6 biggest Integrated Marketing Agency, seeing first-hand how £150 million+ campaigns are executed to create household brands. Now he is the CEO of YewBiz and is focused on helping small businesses.

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