How to build a Relationship with a Prospect: Quick Guide

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Build a Relationship with a Prospect
3 minutes read
The first contact with a sales prospect is like a first date. You have a limited amount of time to make a personal connection and if it doesn’t work, the other person will move on to another possibility. But if it does, if the two of you really “click” you can end up with a relationship that will benefit both of you for years to come.

In sales, it is important to understand the needs of the customer and which of those needs you can meet. To do this, it is important to actively listen to the customer and ask questions to determine their needs.

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This will allow you to determine which of their needs you can meet and tailor your sales pitch to those needs.

You don’t want to use the same exact words as the customer, but rather use the same concepts to show that you understand their needs and can provide a solution.

Getting Started

Open the conversation by sharing something you know about the prospect or their company. Aim to mention a problem you can help to solve or a recent growth achievement that your product or service can enhance.

As soon as possible, start asking open-ended questions. Phrase them in a way that encourages the prospect to tell you about their needs. Clarify answers by asking follow-up closed-ended questions when you need to do so.

At this stage of the conversation, it is important to be attentive to the customer’s needs and concerns. Listen to their pain points and make sure to mention how you can help address them.

However, make sure to not talk too much and let the customer do most of the talking. When they finish their conversation, they should feel like you have taken the time to consider their issues and are actively looking for ways to help them.

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The Personal Touch

Once you’ve had a few contact moments, the relationship becomes less like a courtship and more like a doctor-patient connection. They have a problem; you care about that problem and want to help them solve it.

When reaching out to a prospect, remember that you are not the only person who is attempting to address their issue or offer a solution.

When it comes to connecting with potential clients, you have a unique opportunity to establish a genuine and authentic relationship with them.

This connection is something that no one else can replicate, so it’s important that you take full advantage of it. By forming a genuine relationship, you can build trust and demonstrate your value.

This will increase your chances of converting the prospect into a client, as they will be more likely to trust you and the services that you offer.

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Open-Ended Questions

Ask open-ended questions that encourage the prospect to tell you more about their specific needs and goals. Be attentive to any feelings of frustration they may have and discuss how your product or services can help address these issues as needed. 

Keep in mind not to talk too much and let the customer do most of the talking so they feel like you have taken the time to consider their needs and are actively looking for ways to provide solutions.

When can I see you again?

You can’t build a relationship off of a single conversation, so you have to leave the prospect wanting to speak with you again. Sometimes a prospect will make the next contact, but if not, look for a relevant opportunity to follow up.

There are two major guidelines for follow-ups:

  1. Offer value in manageable chunks.
  2. Be in contact just enough that you stay on their radar.

On your first call and probably your second, write down in your CRM the pain points that your client needs to address. Touch on one of those at your first follow-up, maybe by sending the link to a case study or white paper. 

Let the prospect’s response gauge when and how you follow up next, but don’t disappear even if you don’t get a response.

If you come out with a new product, service, or update, and you think it would address the prospect’s issues, get in touch.

If you learn that the prospect reached a milestone or is having a hard time, offer congratulations or offers to help.


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