Business-to-business relationships function at three levels, including transactional, corporate and personal.
“Transactional” customers do not desire a relationship with the seller. They want the seller to be there when they’re needed, but there’s no separate value for the buyer for having a relationship with the seller. Many business-to-business sellers find these customers represent about 15% of their database.
“Personal” customers develop a personal relationship with your inside salesperson. They begin each conversation with small talk on a personal basis and then get down to business. The customer with the personal relationship is upset when the inside salesperson moves to a different job or leaves your company. Most salespeople find that this group makes up about 10% of their database.
“Corporate” customers develop a relationship with your business facilitated by the inside salesperson. These customers value the relationship with your company, beyond the products, services and programs they purchase. The customer with a corporate relationship is disappointed when your inside salesperson changes roles, but quickly works with a new salesperson. The relationship is with your business, not the individual. These relationships constitute about 75% of possible relationships, and need cultivating. They don’t just happen. Your inside salespeople must have the necessary buyer-to-seller relationship building skills.
Our course High-Impact Telephone Sales teaches the techniques to build powerful business relationships.