Adding value to others – the bridge to relationship building success!
I handle national sales for my web based energy company, Automated Energy, Inc. I love my job because it takes me all over the United States and puts me in front of great people in all corners of our great country.
Sales, like most disciplines in life, require the ability to build relationships based on trust and value. The hardest part about developing relationships in this day and age is competing with all the distractions that consume a new prospect, client, or friend.
I recently got a shot at a big prospect in Texas that showed interest in switching over to our service and leaving one of our competitors. This was huge for our company, in so many ways. Texas is a wide open market for us and would add a lot of credibility to our company if we could land this account and take it out from under one of our major competitors.
My problem was that my contact would not return my phone calls or e-mails. We agreed many weeks earlier that I would fly out there and meet with the staff and finalize the deal. Our tentative scheduled meeting was less than a week away and I could not get my prospect to get back with me to confirm the meeting.
I had to think of something and I had to do it fast, as I was feeling this opportunity was quickly slipping away. This prospect was busy and had many things going on, so I had to figure out a way to stand out and make sure that my company moved to the top of her “to do” list.
I remembered in an earlier conversation that my prospect noted that she had an affinity for Estes Park, Colorado. Her family vacations there every year and she dreams of moving there sometime in the future. She absolutely adores her trips to Estes Park and always brings home an ornament for her Christmas tree from Estes Park to commemorate the family vacation.
I used to work in Loveland, Colorado, which is 22 miles from Estes Park. I called an old colleague and asked him to swing by Estes and pick up some goodies for me, including a special ornament and then overnight the goodies to my prospect in Texas.
Two days later, my prospect wrote me an e-mail totally ecstatic about her Estes Park package she found sitting at her office desk when she returned from a long, hard day of work out in her field of operations. After thanking me for the surprise, she confirmed our meeting and asked if I was available for a conference call to finalize the details of our project!
I achieved five things by sending my prospect the Estes Park goodies:
- I added a touch of fun to her otherwise ho-hum day at the office.
- I showed her that I valued her and I listened and remembered that Estes Park was special to her.
- I gave her a glimpse on how I will serve her in the future once she becomes one of my valued customers.
- I separated myself from all of her distractions and vaulted our pending project to the top of her list.
- I provided a moment of happiness for another human being, which made me feel good as well!
The important point you must take from this is that, the number one goal in all of your interactions with people is to find ways to add value to them and to not expect ANYTHING in return. I would have been disappointed if I failed to get the follow-up appointment, but that should not be my only goal. I would have made a friend in the process and that is just as important as making a customer!
If you go through life adding value and serving others, you will always be a success. It’s the little things in life that bridge the gap to success.
So here is the question of the day – What have you done today to add value to someone in your life?