Every business problem is a relationship problem in disguise – Michael Port, Book Yourself Solid
Relationships are the key to sales because relationships are the key to developing trust, and trust is what leads people to decide to buy from you rather than from someone else. And evangelization is just another kind of sales.
“If people like you they'll listen to you, but if they trust you they'll do business with you.” – Zig Ziglar.
The Relationship Acronym
R = Require
E = effort,
L = loving
A = action,
T = time
I = invested,
O = ongoing
N = nurturing,
S = Sacrifice
H = Honesty
I = Integrity
P = Persistence
Relationships Require Effort,
You can’t sustain a relationship for very long if you invest nothing in it. People may like you when they first meet you and they may feel that instant connection to you, but if you don’t work to maintain the relationship you’ve established, those feelings will fade over time.
You must not only act to keep the relationship going, but those actions must be loving. They must be done with the best interests of the other party in mind. Loving action lets the other party know that you truly value who they are as a person, and not merely what they can potentially do for you.
You must be willing to invest time in any relationship for it to flourish and thrive. It doesn’t have to be hours at a time. A few minutes spent reaching out or a card mailed or an email checking in on the person may be all they need. However, without that time invested, the relationship won’t grow as close as it could and you won’t be around to find out what their true needs are.
Relationships are a lot like a garden. You can’t just plant a seed and walk away. The seeds need to be nurtured and tended as they grow, protected from weeds and pests and other things that might harm it. The more you nurture the seed, the stronger and healthier a plant it will grow.
Sacrifice is a crucial element to any true relationship. You must be willing to sacrifice some of what you value in order to serve the needs of the other person. Sometimes this means doing things you wouldn’t ordinarily do in order to help them fulfill their needs. Sometimes it means giving up your personal time in order to spend time with them. Your willingness to sacrifice is what tells the other person how much you value the relationship.
Honesty is another crucial ingredient in any relationship. Without honesty, you’ll never be able to truly know one another and that means you’ll be unlikely to understand or be able to meet their needs. Being honest about who you are and where you are allows them to enter into your life and gives them permission to be open and honest with you about themselves.
Integrity means that when you say it, you mean it. If you say you’ll be there, you show up. If you say you’ll take care of something, it gets taken care of. If you believe that God is a priority, you do your best to live your life that way. Without integrity, honesty, and sacrifice, it’s unlikely that relationship will ever blossom to the point where the sale comes.
The final ingredient in relationships is persistence. If you get rejected the first time, don’t quit on the relationship. Give it time and try it again. Maybe the person was just having a bad day, or maybe you took something they said the wrong way. Don’t give up on it, but don’t be a pest about it, either. If they have to file a restraining order, you’ve probably taken the whole persistence thing a little too far.