Let’s face it. Behind every business deal there are human beings charged with making the best decisions they can for the business. And, it’s our common humanity that is the foundation of all business relationships.
Conveying our humanity helps to further our connection—the sort of regular human connection that we all crave. Investing the time and effort in building relationships often helps others step outside their expected roles and may present new opportunities for learning about one another.
So how does all this help win business? Surveys show that companies that provide an emotional connection with their customers or clients outperform the sales growth of their competitors. The human factor is a critical component in any leader’s toolkit for achieving superior and sustained results through teamwork.
Lead with gratitude and let it help establish your relationships.
The key to successfully landing a new client begins with being thankful for the opportunity to do business with them. By approaching each situation as a potential new friendship rather than a business transaction, you’re looking for opportunities to be helpful and find a common ground on which you can build a genuine relationship.
LISTENING to what people have to say is the very first step in showing someone you care. When you walk into a meeting, make it your first step to observe the room to get a feel for the place and the people—their expression, their posture, and what they say and don’t say. It is very important to set the tone of the meeting by putting others at ease.
SILENCE is a very important, and active, element of the exchange of observations and ideas in a meeting. This isn’t the kind of silence where you’re waiting for someone to finish talking so that you can finally express your point of view. This is silence as a mode of engagement—as active listening. Sometimes, all you have to do is wait and look people straight in the eyes. Through a lens of gratitude, they soon come to realize that you actually care about what they are saying. They know that they are being heard, and that in itself opens up all kinds of conversational possibilities.
By genuinely listening to a client’s needs and conveying your own humanity, it will not only change the dynamic in pitch meetings, it will help in your post-meeting follow up.
Making gratitude a core element of your business strategy is a winning recipe for boosting your connections and ultimately your sales. When approaching each potential client with gratitude, you may or may not win their business on that first encounter, but you will win their respect. They will remember the way you listened and responded to their needs.
Even when the fit is not quite right for that particular client, a connection has been built that will sooner or later lead to new business. Often this comes in the form of a referral to another potential client. Gratitude is a currency, and it comes full circle when a business referral comes in. There is no greater compliment for your business.
Why not make gratitude-based outward marketing a constant practice in your business and watch how it pays off in terms of client and customer loyalty? Contact us at MY BIG IDEA to learn more.
Originally posted on Forbes.com