Our local soft-serve ice cream stand recently opened for the season, the unofficial start of spring in our community. Looking at the crowd gathered there on a warm spring evening, it occurred to me what a beloved institution this is in my town‚ a long-held tradition for so many families. This little hub is also a terrific example of Common Ground among members of my hometown.
Every community, family and individual have their own favorite summer traditions, vacation at the beach or lake, baseball games, grilling out, long days at the pool, community festivals, etc. Your customers are no exception. Each has his/her own personal favorite aspects of the summer season, which provides a perfect opportunity to cultivate the personal side of your business relationship.
In Dimensions of Professional Selling sales training, we talk about the importance of establishing Common Ground with customers. Common Ground is a key factor in establishing rapport and building relationships. In sales, it is cultivated with customers through a balance of exploring for insight and sharing information about yourself, your company and your solutions. The upcoming summer months provide an ideal opportunity to expand common ground by having more personal conversations with customers as to their summer plans and favorite warm-weather activities, as well as sharing your own perspective on the season.
Despite all the technological advances and digital sales tools available, the fact remains that people buy from people they like. Cultivating an authentic personal relationship with customers is a tremendous factor in your long-term customer relationships and sales success. The approach of summer provides a golden opportunity to expand Common Ground with relevant conversations that strengthen your customer relationships.