Why you need to focus on quality relationships to make sales

- June 13, 2024 3 MIN READ


In the sales world, success isn’t just about the numbers – it’s about relationships. However, what truly matters isn’t the quantity of connections but rather the quality of those relationships. While you may have a vast network, research suggests that fewer, more meaningful connections hold more value than many superficial or shallow ones, explains sales expert Anna Glynn, author of STRONG: How the best sales leaders engage, achieve, and thrive.

Why do high-quality sales networks matter?

When relationships are of high quality, clients are more inclined to trust you, so it’s easier and more likely that you will make a sale. Positive experiences mean they tend to repeat business and become loyal to you, your brand or organisation over the long term. Strong relationships also pave the way for referrals from satisfied clients and can even become brand advocates which leads to sustainable sales growth.

What’s more, quality relationships can facilitate honest and effective communication between sales professionals and their clients. When clients feel valued and understood, they’re more likely to reach out and voice their concerns and collaborate on solutions. This open dialogue facilitates a smoother conflict resolution, further cementing the bond with your clients.

Customers who feel connected to you furthermore, are more willing to provide valuable feedback, offering you insights into what’s working well, what’s not and what needs to improve. This feedback loop will help you not only stand out from your competitors but ensures that your offerings continually evolve to meet your client needs. High-quality relationships are sticky, so clients won’t look elsewhere for products or services. Building long-term quality relationships gives salespeople a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction and certainly helps them achieve their targets.

Are there other benefits?

Beyond performance outcomes, higher quality relationships with clients can also play a positive role in our energy, engagement, wellbeing and resilience. Our relationships drive a lot of the satisfaction that we feel particularly in our work. The higher the quality of your relationships, the more positive emotions you experience. This is essential for sales teams, as the happier you are, the more likely you are to make a sale. When you have great connections with those you work with, you are more often in a positive state, making you better at problem-solving and more creative and innovative. Moreover, the positivity that stems from these relationships can put you on an upward spiral of growth and development because you are more likely to share knowledge, ideas and different ways of doing things when you feel good. Positive emotions are also highly beneficial for your wellbeing and mental and physical health by decreasing stress, and making you more resilient.

What about the connections beyond your clients?

Salespeople can benefit from relationships beyond their clients, including the connections they have within their team and broader networks. These relationships can be what motivate us, making us more productive, energised and engaged.

We all have an inner desire to feel like we belong particularly in our working environments given how much time we spend at our jobs. When you feel you like you fit in, that your team cares for you, and your environment is energising, you increase your commitment to your workplace. A Gallup study has even showed that you’re seven times more likely to be engaged if you have a best friend at work. So, you’re more likely to be dedicated and satisfied in your role when you are close with those in your team.

Additionally, when you feel supported. you’ll be more compassionate towards your peers in their times of need. This is particularly important in sales roles because you need your colleagues to help pick you up when you’ve been knocked down and encourage you to keep moving towards your goals. You want to celebrate your successes with your colleagues as celebrating is no fun on your own!

When negative feedback or criticism is shared, it’s more likely to be addressed when you have quality relationships in your team. When we are part of teams where there is a lack of connection, or people are toxic, this can lead to decreased engagement, poorer wellbeing, greater stress, less resilience, more dissatisfaction, and decreased performance. Basically, these are the opposite of everything that high-quality connections bring. High quality relationships also contribute to a positive organisational culture characterised by trust, collaboration, learning and mutual respect. Such environments retain and attract top talent, drive innovation and organisational success. So, there are benefits for those around you too.

Quality will always trump quantity in sales relationships. The best salespeople therefore prioritise cultivating high-quality connections with their clients, team members, and other stakeholders, recognising their fundamental role to success. Yet there’s often more to our connections than we might think. In the words of the psychology professor, the late Chris Peterson ‘Other people matter’ – in fact, they are essential for us to thrive.

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