Some people are experts at small talk — they can work a big room and instantly be everybody’s distant acquaintance. They are experts at knowing a tiny bit about a lot of people. Most interactions happen on the surface. Many politicians are this way. And many salespeople are this way.

I have little interest in these kinds of relationships, if you can call them that, and I don’t enjoy small talk with people I don’t know. But I quite enjoy it with my friends. And my clients almost always become long-term friends. I like to know about your family, your kids, your vacation, your favorite sports teams, and what you do for fun. Some people call this a friendship.

Over 15 years of interviewing thousands of my clients’ salespeople and customers, guess which salespeople perform the best…the ones who master small talk, or the ones who master quickly building long-term friendships with their customers?

Salespeople who are good friends with the customers tend to sell the most.

And my clients’ customers tell me every day that their favorite salespeople are the ones they have a friendship with.

“They know my family and I know their’s,” customers tell me.

“He’s not just my account rep, he’s also my friend,” they say.

“Our wives are both nurses,” a customer told me last week, “so we have that in common and we talk about it a lot.”

“We’ve had similar life challenges at similar times,” a customer said earlier this month, “so we’ve been able to help each other through those hard times.”

These are customers talking about their salespeople!

Who do you think does better — these salespeople or the ones who only show up to pitch products and ask for orders?

You know how to build a friendship, right? Be present. Ask how you can help. Ask about family and life. Relate to the answers, share relevant experiences from your own life.

Go here with your customers.

You will stand out from the huge crowd of surface-level salespeople.

And your customers will thank you with highly rewarding friendships, and, of course, with their business.

Would you like to add 15-30% new sales to your top annually? This growth comes predictably and without stress for my clients. As a consultant, I help you implement the mindsets, behaviors, and systems that help your business grow dramatically like this. To discuss, please call me directly at 847-459-6322 or simply reply to this email.