In some ways, business relationships are like personal relationships. Both require ongoing commitment and a human touch – especially in today’s digital world. By 2025, Gartner predicts that 80% of B2B sales interactions will occur in digital channels.

What does this mean for client relationships? If you ask Amy Sklar, a sales thought leader at Content Marketing Partners, sales professionals should focus on building the skills that will help them strengthen their relationships and boost their long-term revenue. In this issue of PromoPro Daily, we dive into the skills that Sklar recommends working on to nourish your client relationships.

  1. Listening. This is a universal skill that helps people feel understood. Active listening goes beyond just hearing the words someone says – it requires showing that you genuinely care about what they’re saying. To do this, Sklar says you should always try to listen without distractions and avoid interrupting the speaker. You can also rephrase or ask clarifying questions to demonstrate you understand the other person’s perspective.
  2. Empathy. People with high levels of empathy know how to understand a situation from someone else’s point of view. This skill is essential in building lasting business relationships because it shows understanding and an authentic appreciation of the other person’s needs and emotions. Sklar says you can cultivate more empathy in a few ways. For example, you could try to imagine yourself in your clients’ shoes and envision what their concerns or needs might be. You could also express your appreciation for the trust they’ve placed in you.
  3. Communication. Customers purchase from brands they recognize, favor and trust, yet establishing such trust can be a gradual process, Sklar says. If you run into delays with a promo shipment or project challenges, always be upfront and open about the challenges. Sklar says mistakes can create authenticity since no one individual or company is perfect.
  4. Adaptability. Working on this soft skill can help you more easily adjust to changing circumstances, expectations and trends. Ultimately, Sklar says it can help foster solid customer relationships, leading to repeat sales and referrals.

It takes time and dedication to build mutually beneficial relationships. When you work on strengthening your listening and communication skills and approach relationships with more empathy and adaptability, you can help build business connections that last.   

Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Amy Sklar is a sales thought leader at Content Marketing Partners.