Last updateWed, 25 Mar 2020 1pm

Building relationships

What’s important to you? What are your interests? What do you care about? How well informed are you about your own interests? Are you an individual whose conversation tends to be limited to a narrow range of topics? Are you intensely passionate in the pursuit of information about those interests? Do you tend to restrict your actions to align with those specialized interests? Can you apply your in-depth knowledge base to a wider context? Most importantly, how does any of this matter in the profession of sales? 

Having passionate interests and background is, of course an important part of the human experience. It is the sweet spot of life that formulates the essence of who you are - and thank goodness for that! 

The beginning of a great relationship with your customers is the skilled ability to delve into their passionate interests and the knowledge bases that accompany them. Sometimes this necessitates setting aside your own interests to inquire, listen, clarify and expand your knowledge base to incorporate that of your customers. It’s called being fascinated by the world around you and being open to acquiring broader notions of how that world operates. It is a fundamental skill of being human and of interacting effectively with humans! 

Generally, salespersons tend to be outgoing individuals. As such, the ability to reach out to others often comes easily. When something is a natural ability, stopping to analyze what actually creates that ability can be surprisingly difficult. So what are some of the components of reaching out to others (especially customers) and building relationships with them?

• Being positive, including having a healthy dose of self respect. Being confident and upbeat about who one is and how one connects to the world forms the basis for being able to work toward a common goal. Customers tend to be adept at sifting out insincerity and self-service among the people with whom they do business. Confidence, trustworthiness, caring, authenticity and humor are the most valued currencies of interaction.

• Being enthusiastic, greeting each situation and each day newly. Bringing to every situation the expectation that the best outcomes are available to all concerned and that each circumstance innately creates the opportunity for success, growth and continued excitement!

• Being curious, desiring a thorough understanding of what makes things work, including social interactions. Possessing an unwavering urge to expand one’s awareness of the world, both “up-close-and-personal” and in a global sense creates an unstoppable quest for greater learning of all types, which, in turn, generates more and deeper curiosity.

• Being tenacious, pursuing set goals and being a life-long learner. Determining what one desires to happen, discovering a pathway to get there and committing to the activities needed to advance toward those yearned for outcomes time after time, with relentlessness not only makes goal accomplishment possible, it creates the curiosity to dream bigger and grow exponentially.

• Being energetic, devoting the personal resources to make things happen. Taking personal responsibility to maintain health, both physical and mental, to support all of the thinking, doing, and cooperating activities necessary to sustain life at its highest level really is the basis for all of our human activities. Becoming aware of those activities which create energy within us and those which drain our energy requires a dedicated commitment to living.

• Being ethical, doing the right thing every single time. In every human activity there is the opportunity to complete it to the best of one’s ability (which, in turn, stretches that ability), the temptation to conclude the task as quickly and as sloppily as possible, or to completely “blow it off”- not put any effort into its accomplishment at all. Being ethical holds each individual to doing the very best actions possible in each and every circumstance. For some people, this is exceedingly difficult. Being tenacious and giving one’s best endeavor ensures that the habit of being ethical becomes easier each time it is accomplished.

Each of these components contributes to the strengthening of abilities to form consistently stronger relationships with other humans and to be the best salesperson possible!

Author, trainer, consultant, and speaker Brad Huisken is President of IAS Training. Huisken has authored several books and training manuals on sales and  produces a Weekly Sales Training Meeting video series along with Aptitude Tests and Proficiency Exams for new hires, current sales staff and sales managers. In addition, he publishes a free weekly newsletter called “Sales Insight” For a free subscription or more information contact IAS Training at 800-248-7703 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Visit his website at www.iastraining.com.