Sales strategy and relationship marketing go hand in hand

Sales strategy is more than a brochure or sending form letters. Old school sales strategies have only a small place in today’s world of sales…period! More importantly, if you don’t incorporate building trust into your sales relationships, then you are ultimately and entirely missing out on valuable sales.

Relationship building is about how we can be a kinder, gentler people out there in the world of business as well as in our personal lives. I love interviewing new guests for my blog every single week to share their expertise and a little bit about their own unique industries and how relationship marketing seems to apply so similar in basically any type of industry.

This blog features the Supplemental Health Care industry.  So all of you in the healthcare business, specifically the supplemental healthcare industry, I’m going to talk a lot about that. However, this sales strategy can bring success to any industry.

Catch the interview here, where Jim share’s his sales strategy for a health care staffing company where he was able to connect with the unreachable target client achieving an 82% response rate and a 52% customer sign up…

Jim Steadman resides out of Riverton, Utah. He is the Regional Vice President at Supplemental Health Care and manages over 500 hospitals or health care facilities of any kind, and 1000’s of practitioners in the Midwest and the West. He manages a lot of people! Jim’s staffing industry provides nurses and therapists for facilities that are short on staff and need clinicians to be able to care for patients.

Basically, he reaches out and builds relationships with two types of clients…

  1. Nurses and therapists. Building relationships of trust that they will find them good careers, and then;
  2. Facilities whether they are hospital administrators or long-term care facilities, providing them with the right clinician that cares for the patients and the specific illnesses or diseases they have.

I asked Jim how he creates a network to find highly-educated specialists with experience…

  • social media
  • boards
  • Indeed
  • Monster and;
  • Careerbuilder

But word of mouth is probably their biggest one. Which in-turn creates referrals because of the relationship of trust with the nurse, therapist or facility.

“We work hard to build those relationships.” -Jim Steadman-

Relationship marketing is a sales strategy that puts more emphasis on the relationship than on marketing. In fact, our motto is 80% of the time should be about genuine connections with people and 20% of the time is about marketing. And if you keep that formula going, you’ll be able to implement true relationship marketing principles.

Implementing a relationship-building sales strategy that is duplicatable can create success throughout many offices scattered throughout different states and or countries.

There are strategic things you can do on a weekly basis in the office to reach out, adding the more human side to help communication and build trust within these offices and with employees…

  • send out an email to welcome them
  • choose a day such as maybe a Friday, and send thank you cards or welcome cards
  • anniversary lunches
  • celebrate birthdays and then;

Teach others in different offices to do the same thing. Hence keeping the sales strategy duplicatable! The challenge is that individuals touch, talk and work with human beings every day. And for us to think that we can text or email and still build that relationship is wrong. So, find ways to touch them on a personal side because that’s relatable.

How to get through to unreachable prospects

First, qualify the target client. Let’s face it, a qualified client also has relationships with other vendors. Which means, it’s highly likely they won’t even give you the time of day.

So, how does one bridge that gap?

Bridging this gap begins with a sales strategy that start’s to build a relationship of trust!

Email, brochures, and form letters are information on your service or product. These types of touches are impersonal, and in today’s world, you must create the human connection (learn more with this book) so these qualified targets can get to know, like and trust you.

Most importantly, your first few touch points should not ask for anything! Find off the wall, funny things to drop off or send in the mail to get your target clients attention.

In Jim’s interview above, he tells his phenomenal results of leveraging a sales blitz like this inside his Supplemental Health Care Industry;

  • 82% of that target client list says… “We’ve just never been treated like this.”  82% opened up to the discussions of the possibilities, and 52% became customers.

A greeting card sales strategy is powerful. So all you, business people out there, your focus should be about the relationship for the first three or four touches, it’s all about relationship marketing. I talk a lot about the importance of focusing on the first word relationship more than the second word marketing. In fact, all of your interactions with prospects or customers or clients or anybody for that matter should be 80% of the time about the relationship but 20% of the time specifically about the marketing or the sale.

Do you see the brilliance in this sales strategy?

I believe we live in a world where we micro every second of our day, and leverage technology to get so much done. But we forget that getting a card in the mail and opening up something physical and reading it has an effect that’s more of a human touch.

The client loves that there was a follow-up that was very personal to say,

  • We want to talk to you
  • We want to see if we can help you

This sales strategy makes you feel very human, and not just another salesperson. It’s a way of saying, “We truly think we can help you.”

The greeting card is personal, and they don’t look at it from a business aspect. Matter of fact, greeting cards are 11 times more likely to be opened than any other piece of mail. This is because it’s addressed right to them, and people love their name and their world. And everything else like brochures or form letters have a standard sales pitch or talks about a company. A greeting card sends a message of “We want to see if we can help you and leverage our workforce for you to be successful.”

Leveraging Social Media for business

You know, it’s interesting. I think most people have a love-hate relationship with Social Media. Facebook exposes us to people’s celebrations and even challenges. Take these opportunities to reach out in a positive way. Technology today allows you to cut and paste pictures of them, put the pics on a card and send the card to them making a positive impact.

So yeah, this is really good stuff, relationship marketing at its very best. It’s all about relationships, creating genuine human connections.

I encourage you all in life going forward not to;

  • hate
  • do drama
  • focus on negativity
  • gossip.

I think that’s so important today. Don’t do those things. Find people to celebrate. I’m going to scroll through social media and find people that are having challenges and try to reach out to them. Being the guy that shows up. Staying positive no matter what.

I think that those things are powerful and literally can and will change the world!

Take care, everybody,

Kody B.

p.s. Share the success with those you know by sharing the value of this blog post and together we can change the world of business 🙂