5 Pro Tips on Building Business Relationships that Last

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

One of the most valuable resources available to you and your company does not appear on the balance sheet: meaningful business relationships.

But they don't just happen.

Much like personal relationships, business relationships have to be nurtured, with time and effort.

It's not just a matter of being polite on the phone (though that helps). Wrap your head around this:

The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, but a mere 5-20% for a new prospect.

Let's face it. No matter what you're selling, it's a tough market out there. One in 3 customers will leave a brand they like after just one negative experience.

To navigate this admittedly tough terrain, you need that extra something, without which you aren't going to get very far as a sales rep.

That extra something is your knack for building business relationships that last.

But how to do that? Read on, we're revealing some trade secrets and tips for building business relationships here!

Why Does Building Relationships in Business Matter?

Why Does Building Relationships in Business Matter

If your job has anything to do with selling, then nurturing and building business relationships will be the one critical factor determining your career trajectory.

Just like our personal lives, there are ups and downs in our professional lives too. Your leads might dry up despite your best efforts. Or the industry you're working in might suddenly require a whole new range of skills in order to qualify as a sales agent.

But you can sale through (if you excuse the terrible pun) all these difficult moments and quickly get back to your winning ways if you've invested in building effective business relationships.

Here are 4 reasons why building relationships in business makes all the difference:

1. Selling In An Automated World

Automation is the new normal in sales. More than 80% of business leaders are actively looking into sales automation solutions to streamline their sales management processes.

And nearly half of eCommerce companies use marketing automation software to lure more shoppers.

From data entry and research to log creation and email scheduling, automation is fundamentally changing the way sales agents work. CRM and other tech enable companies to plan and execute strategies that help in building effective business relationships.

You can see this is a threat—or an opportunity.

Selling in an automated universe means you have more time to focus on what you do best, which is selling.

And contrary to what some people believe, the importance of building better business relationships has only increased in an age of automation because the authenticity of your professional bonds will set you apart from the competition.

2. Sales Is A Team Sport

Sales is no longer a solo activity; it has become a team sport.

Just looks who's involved:




Attracting and nurturing leads

Sales Development Reps

Qualifying leads

Account Executives

Demonstrations, negotiations, and closing deals

Customer Success

Retention and customer relationship building

Customers today have access to a lot of information and are often fully prepared to discuss their needs and solutions. And leave negative feedback if they're unsatisfied.

So building business relationships that last is not just about closing that one sale but creating an ecosystem where you and your business both benefit in the long term.

The walls separating marketing and sales are becoming less sturdy. Businesses with closely aligned sales and marketing departments have a 36% higher customer retention rate.

Building relationships with business partners and potential customers and sustaining those relationships are best seen as parts of a larger whole where every department of your organization is contributing in some way—and, in turn, benefit from it.

3. Customer Lifetime Value

Customer Lifetime Value or CLV may be defined as the total amount of money a customer is likely to spend on your products, or in your business, during their lifetime. Knowing the CLV helps your company in making decisions about how much it needs to invest in acquiring new customers and retaining existing ones.

The odds of selling to an existing customer are 60-70%, while the odds of selling to a new customer are 5-20%. Building effective business relationships is the key to having a healthy CLV.

4. A Matter Of Trust

Successful brands are all about trust. Customers who have an emotional bond with a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value. This is especially crucial when your business is going through a lean patch. That built-in trust will make all the difference between the business going down under or bouncing back to greater heights.

Building trust in business relationships is not just about the bond between the sales agent and the customer. All members of the vendor's ecosystem have to play a role. A trustworthy sales culture requires principled efforts over an extended period of time.

How to Build Trust in Business Relationships

How to Build Trust in Business Relationships

The legendary American sales person-turned-motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once said, “If people like you, they'll listen to you, but if they trust you, they'll do business with you.”

But earning this trust is not easy. More than half of today's customers (55%) trust companies less than they used to.

Here are some excellent ways to forge trust in business relationships:

1. Highlight Results

Work with marketing to fine-tune your sales collateral.

Promote your business by highlighting your client testimonials and case studies.

People listen to credible experts. When the time comes to choose between you and your competition, a tastefully showcased rave review or industry case study can make all the difference.

Recommendations matter. 9 out of 10 people say they trust what a customer says about a business more than what that business says about itself, and 95% of people say that reviews—whether positive or negative—influence their buying decisions.

To build trust in business relationships, display positive reviews on your website, share positive feedback on your social media channels, and be prompt in responding to both good and bad reviews in a professional manner.

2. Demonstrate Your Capability

Your product or service may be the best in the market, but the potential customer needs to trust your capability. This means they will be looking out for the ideas you bring to the table and the useful solutions you provide to their problems.

Sellers have a tendency to overestimate their capability. But buyers are more guarded and skeptical. That's why you need to effectively demonstrate your capability.

You can do this by:

  • Becoming an expert: You can't afford to be ignorant about any aspect of the product or service or your customer's needs. Know your customer's industry, unique set of problems, and what the competition is offering, inside out.
  • Crunching numbers: It is not enough to say that your product or service has so and so benefits. Explain using numbers and data how a customer will get a higher return on investment by signing up for your product or service. Even better, present those numbers as a success story (TBC shortly).
  • Sharing your opinion: Think of yourself not just as a sales agent but as an advisor who genuinely provides quality advice to clients to positively impact their business. It will show if you come across as hesitant in offering your opinion.

3. Tell Your Story

In their book Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive, and Others Die, authors Chip and Dan Heath reveal that after a presentation, “63% of people remember stories. Only 5% remember a statistic.”

Stories show that you're authentic. They make people relate to you.

A convincing, well-crafted story shapes how your customers view you and gives them the space to look beyond the products and connect with you as a person.

Stories are also powerful tools to convey your brand's history and USP. They send a subliminal message that this is a brand that people can identify with and trust.

Make sure your story is compelling and embedded in it are unique solutions to your customer's problems that only you can provide.

4. Be Honest And Transparent

Sometimes, the so-called old-fashioned values like honesty and transparency work like magic in business.

Today's customers can quickly sense gimmicks and hype. It's your job to help them make an informed choice, even if that means being upfront about what your product does not offer.

You might close a sale but if your customers don't get what you've promised them, say goodbye to the prospect of building strong business relationships. Worse, the customer might just express their unhappiness online.

Here are some ways to be honest and transparent:


How to be honest


Be upfront about pricing without hiding extra costs.


Be honest about what customer data your company collects and for what purpose.


Share your company's officially published values with the customer.

Product issues

Communicate with the customer immediately if a glitch is discovered in the product or service.

5. Leverage The Power Of Video

Sharing videos is a powerful tool to build trust. These include explainer videos about the product or service and testimonial videos of real customers who've benefited from it.

A remarkable 96% of people say they've used an explainer video in order to learn more about a product or service.

But don't assume that just because a video exists online, your customers have watched it. Share it with them.

You can even go a step further and share short videos of products that may not be linked to the ongoing sale but which will enhance your customer's knowledge about some aspect of their industry or business.

The message you're sending out is unmistakable: you're providing value to the customer without any direct benefit to yourself. And building trust in business relationships in the process.

5 Challenges in Building Good Business Relationships

Challenges in Building Good Business Relationships

Building business relationships and making them last is not rocket science. The people skills that you require are not very different from the skills you need to maintain any relationship, personal or professional.

Let's look at some of the key challenges you should be aware of when it comes to building relationships in business:

1. Losing Interest

You're probably familiar with this. After closing a challenging sale, the sales agent either lose interest in the customer or gets caught up with new deals and can't invest time and effort in maintaining the relationship.

Result: the business relationship crash-lands barely after it's taken off.

In fact, businesses lose between 20-80% of their customers annually owing to poor customer relationships.

2. Over-Promising

This is another sure-shot way to sabotage a business relationship. In this case, the salesperson promises the customer the moon, but the actual product or service is a little underwhelming. This irritates the customer, who feel they've been taken for a ride, and the company's reputation also takes a hit in the process.

It's worth noting that only 46% of customers say that vendors deliver on what was promised.

3. Behind The Tech Curve

If you're not using CRM and another tech that your company has invested in or ignoring the importance of social media in sales, you're setting yourself up for failure. The world has changed, and so has the sales world.

While core sales skills will always be in demand, you must harness the power of tech to keep in touch with customers and reach out to them regularly with updates on products and services.

No wonder 47% of businesses say that CRM had a massive influence on customer satisfaction.

4. Poor Communication

You might be selling the greatest product this side of the Atlantic, but if you are unable to explain its benefits in clear terms to your customers, you won't go very far when it comes to business-building relationships. Poor communication could also mean that you come across as insufficiently engaged while interacting with customers.

About 68% of customers are lost owing to indifference or perceived apathy.

Remember, you have to reach out to your customers. They are under no obligation to humor you and, in most cases, have other options to turn to.

5. Negative Interactions

Sales is a tricky business. Despite your best efforts and doing all the right things, there will invariably be some customers who have a negative experience or are unsatisfied with your product or service.

Dissatisfied customers are likely to tell twice as many people about their negative experiences as satisfied customers speak about their positive experiences.

Savvy sales reps will take proactive measures like listening carefully, showing empathy, and apologizing, if necessary, to deal with unsatisfied customers, rather than letting it fester.

5 Tips in Building Effective Business Relationships

Business Relationships Tips

1. Personalize Customer Interactions

A whopping 72% of customers will only engage with personalized messaging, and 80% of consumers are more likely to buy a product or service if the brand offers personalized experiences.

Personalization involves the use of customer data like past purchases, browsing history, and demographics to tailor digital marketing to the consumer's specific character traits. In fact, it's become so common that consumers anticipate it in emails and text messages.

This is a space where the traditional boundaries of sales and marketing no longer apply, and smart salespersons work closely with their marketing colleagues in building business relationships through personalized messaging.

Here are some ways to personalize communication:

  • Before meeting with a customer, research them via social media and by visiting their website.
  • Listen to the customer's story. Understand their pain points.
  • Use personalized email templates.
  • Recommend other products and services which may help your customer outside of the problem that your own product solves.
  • Send the occasional personal card or greeting with a friendly note, minus any business pitch.
  • Use CRMs to track the customer's previous interactions and be aware of concerns or issues they've voiced over time.

2. Add Value

Always look for ways to add value to an offer.

Offer real expertise to a customer when they are trying to find the best product or service. By doing this you save the time they would need to spend on research. And if your advice is eventually followed by the customer, it will deepen the relationship.

Ask questions. Rephrase the problem. Explain how the product or service will work in a manner that will serve the customer's needs best, without overselling or overpromising.

Get creative. Learn to think on your feet. The best sales agents are great problem-solvers. Customers will start realizing you're not just a sales agent but a valuable resource they would benefit from in the long term.

3. Reach Out Regularly

Reaching out to your customers routinely has a two-fold advantage: it keeps the relationship alive and boosts the prospects of a sudden unexpected sale simply because you asked at the right time.

Try to show interest in your customer's business and industry. Share with them information and useful news about their industry.

By not making every phone call or email message a sales pitch, you can create the right conditions for building trust in business relationships. However, it is important to strike the right balance so that you don't come across as very informal or pally in a casual way.

Remember, this is a professional relationship, and boundaries have to be respected.

4. The Art Of Conversation

Both you and your customer know that your aim is to sell a product or service. But that doesn't mean that you mechanically follow a sales pitch. Be aware of the peculiar circumstances of your customer.

Even if they're buying the exact same product, no two customers are alike, and their precise requirements for the product may be slightly different too.

That's why you need to have exceptional listening skills to truly understand what the customer is saying.

Once you've figured out the problem which the customer hopes to solve by buying your product, address that specific concern, even if it means deviating from the script you're familiar with.

5. The Promise Of Reliability

For all practical purposes, you are the face of the company for your customer. So by being reliable and dependable, you are conveying that your company also promotes these values.

A simple way to be dependable is by responding promptly to customer messages. Always. Nobody likes to feel ignored. Not your spouse. Not your child. Not your customer. And certainly Not Tom Brady!


If you don't have an immediate solution to your customer's problem, say so. Send a short message saying that you'll get back to them with a solution. And then do so.

Always deliver what you've promised. Remember, your customers, too, have commitments to keep to their boss or company or clients. If you don't keep your word, it will create a very undesirable escalatory cycle.


Business Relationships FAQ

“How Do You Automate A Selling Process?”

Some strategies for automation include utilizing email templates, scheduling appointments, leaving a pre-recorded voicemail, and logging call outcomes electronically.

“How Is Storytelling Used In Sales?”

Stories have a clear introduction, middle, and conclusion. Determine the takeaway, get your prospect's attention, personalize your sales story, and practice it out loud.

“How Can Technology Be Used To Improve Sales?”

Using technology for your sales strategy helps your company better understand your target customers, specifies your market, and increases efficiency.

“Why Is CRM Important For Sales?”

Using CRM, sales agents can optimize their daily schedules and prioritize tasks to ensure customers are not ignored, and key prospects are contacted on time.


Serial entrepreneur and American billionaire Mark Cuban, who knows a thing or two about building strong business relationships, puts it brilliantly: “Business happens over years and years. Value is measured in the total upside of a business relationship, not by how much you squeezed out in any one deal.”

In this blog post, you've learned why building business relationships matters in the long term and how to go about doing that in a systematic way.

You can use these suggestions and tips for building business relationships to make your sales career soar and increase your company's revenue—by keeping your customers at the center of all your planning and efforts.

Ringy can be a reliable partner in this exciting journey by providing cutting-edge sales and CRM products and solutions to give you the edge over your competitors, no matter what your industry.

Ask your company's representative to set up a call with Ringy today. It might be the best business decision you've made this year!

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