Online selling
Building sales connections with relationship selling
Online selling

Building sales connections with relationship selling

Written by


October 31, 2022

Table of contents

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Today, sales teams must prioritize relationship-building before jumping to selling. Cold calling is less effective as a tool for building sales relationships that last

Key takeaways:

  • Relationship selling helps companies forge a connection with prospects before closing sales
  • Businesses can close more deals by listening actively to prospects and using this insight to create thought leadership content
  • Social selling is an effective way to build sales relationships with prospects over social media platforms

What is relationship selling?

Relationship selling requires building sales teams to build strong connections with the prospect instead of focusing solely on product features

Relationship selling emphasizes building a connection between salespersons and potential buyers. Instead of trying to sell a product based solely on its price and features, this technique places importance on the actual interactions between the two parties.

Usually, sales reps have a limited time in which to sell a product and move on to the next customer. This transactional approach is a more traditional form of selling. Arguably, it works well for inexpensive products where customers don’t need to make a huge investment. 

For brands selling high-ticket products, or those in the B2B space, transactional selling is no longer enough. The sales cycle is longer; buyers need more time to consider the product before they commit. 

The only way to score big is to use relationship selling.

Why is relationship selling important?

Brands today know exactly what gets the ball rolling for long-term sales – building and maintaining meaningful customer interactions. 

79% of B2B buyers confess that it is important for them to have interactions with a sales rep that adds value beyond the sale itself. Buyers today expect personalized consultation and interaction as part of their journey. 

Of course, a product’s features and pricing will always be central to selling. However, when businesses use relationship selling, they enjoy higher customer loyalty brought about by meaningful relationships cultivated over time.

This is especially fruitful for companies that must compete on price and quality to bag repeat business from customers. Instead, they can turn to relationship-building, so customers stick to them.

Relationship selling focusses on winning customer loyalty and building sales relationships so they keep returning. When customers have a quality interaction with a salespersons they feel valued. Most importantly, these interactions win trust, so customers find it easier to commit to the product.

Building sales: closing deals and building long-term relationships 

To build strong connections, brands must actively listen to their prospects, place themselves as experts, and focus on helping customers rather than aggressively selling to them 

The key to building sales relationship, as with any other, begins with listening. Sales reps must be fantastic listeners who take the time to understand buyer pain points before rolling out their pitch. When sales reps listen, they inspire trust and confidence in prospects. Listening also helps them understand customer needs, so they can tailor their pitch to speak directly to those requirements.

Next, companies can establish themselves as thought leaders by sharing unique insights that spark conversation. 65% of buyers admit that thought leadership significantly changes their perception of a company. When prospects interact with salespeople from such companies, they show more trust in the product, given the brand’s credibility. Pro tip - Use the sales team’s inputs to keep a finger on the market’s pulse. Create content around customer pain points by seeking this information from sales reps. 

Businesses selling physical products should not hesitate to provide hands-on demos to prospects. Today, brands do not need actual prototypes to offer a hands-on experience. Using 3D and augmented reality (AR) technology, companies can create digital product demos accessible through web apps. Customers can interact with these 3D projections in real-time and make buying decisions more confidently.

When the sales team engages in social selling, its activity on social platforms increases the brand's visibility. The result – easier lead targeting and conversions. 

Winning at social selling

Social selling is a relationship-selling technique for the digital age. Meeting prospects where they are consistently is the key to successful social selling

First, brands must go where their prospects are and pick the right platforms. For example, LinkedIn and Twitter work best for B2B sales, while Instagram and TikTok work great for B2C marketing.

Next, companies must share content regularly. They can experiment with thought leadership posts, product-related posts, etc., and see what engages the audience. Another good idea is to redistribute content on other platforms. For instance, talking points from a blog can get rehashed as tweet threads.

Jump on the augmented reality bandwagon!

Images and videos are no longer enough to familiarize prospects with a product. With 3D and AR product visualizations, companies are delivering immersive demos and creating product listings with 360-degree visuals.

Images and videos are no longer enough to familiarize prospects with a product.

Turn to Enhance XR and equip your website with 3D and augmented reality visual assets. Empower your sales reps with these powerful interactive tools to facilitate meaningful and lasting customer interactions.

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