The Customer Connection How to Build Customer Relationships

Build a Sincere Customer Connection

To make a purchase, customers need to trust you and that requires a connection. Learn how to build customer relationships, establish rapport and a sincere connection throughout the sales process. In the end, the trust and relationships you build will allow you to provide superior service and excel in sales.

Rapport Idea

One great way to begin establishing rapport is to find out where your customer is from and make a real and truthful connection. The best way to become comfortable and know how to build customer relationships is to practice.  Download “A New York State of Mind” and list a connection for each of the 50 states. How many can you make a “real” connection to?

Empathic Listening

Express Empathy and empathic listeningAnother important aspect of building and strengthening your customer’s connection is to express empathy and be a strong active listener. Again practice is required to master the art of listening and a great way to do it is to have a friend read you a story from the newspaper. As you listen, jot down key points so when they are done you can paraphrase, in your own words, what the story was about.

Additionally, express how you think the main characters in the story may be feeling. This is exactly what you can do with your customers to build your connection. Customers love to be heard and understood.

Supportive and Empowering Responses

supportive and empowering responsesWhen you respond in a supportive way, that empowers your customer you strengthen your rapport and connection. Help your customer make a good decision and applaud their efforts.

The Customer as Your Primary Focus

The big secret to being successful and knowing how to build customer relationships in sales is to have a sincere desire to help them. When your customer is your primary focus everything else will follow.

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What other things have you done to create a sincere connection with your customer? Share your comments below.

The Sales Process – Proven Steps to Success

The sales process describes a systematic and repeatable approach to selling a product or service.

While there are numerous reasons for having a well-thought-out sales process a few include:

  • seller and buyer risk management,
  • standardized customer experience during the sales interaction, and
  • scale-able revenue generation and
  • more consistent and repeatable success.

Approaching sales from a “process” point of view offers an opportunity to use design and improvement tools to further enhance the success of sales efforts. Tools like:

  • Scripts
  • Offers
  • Packages
  • Specials and promotions

The Sales Process is defined by five major steps, each with a specific goal that leads to a positive outcome.

C customer greeting  – Goal: make a great 1st impression and being to establish rapport

L listen to needs  – Goal: discover your customer’s needs and hot buttons (or the emotional reasons they want to resolve their primary need)

O offer benefits  – Goal: build value in the product by communicating personalized benefits.

S seize the sale  – Goal: Be assumtie and ask for the sale

E end with extras  – Goal: Maximize your opportunity and ensure your customer has everything they need by offering additional products and services.

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10 Effective Ways to Maximize Down Time at Work

Maximize Down Time at Work

Downtime is a fact of life in sales. Sure, you would love to be busy with customers all the time but that’s not always possible. Downtime is an opportunity to hone your skills and stay sharp so that you can make the most of those times when you do have customers. Here are 10 things you can do during down time to hone your skills and prepare to maximize your next opportunity.

  1. Review the advertising and information that drive customers to you. What are the key phrases, benefits or unique selling propositions that are working to create a sense of urgency? How can you incorporate those same things into your presentations?
  2. Review customer testimonials.  Reading through customer testimonials and familiarizing yourself with real life experiences can be very helpful when you have a customer on the fence. It can also help you feel confident about the efficacy of the products you sell.
  3. Listen to other sales people. You can pick up some interesting new information or strategies by watching what other sales people do. Watch and listen for what works and do that. Hear something that doesn’t work? ah…..don’t do that!
  4. Review Product Information. No matter how long you’ve been selling a product you’d be surprised what a fresh run through the information will turn up. Maybe there’s a forgotten feature or benefit that could make your next sale.   
  5. If you work in a call center, review your sales scripts. Professionals use scripts all the time but sound perfectly natural, how? They practice. If you work in retail practice your presentation so it’s smooth and consistent.
  6. Work with a colleague on your rebuttal techniques. Jot down the objections you have the hardest time with and practice with each other.
  7. Pick a product and see how many items you could make a x-sell connection to.
  8. Read sales articles like this one and others like these.
  9. Listen to Sales related podcasts. Browse through our back catalog here.
  10. Volunteer to help a new sales person. Teaching someone is a great way to “up your game”


11 . Review “54 Sales Tips to Punch Up Your Sales” and try something new 🙂

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The more skill and knowledge you have the more money you’ll make this year! There are plenty of resources available to help you be your best. Take advantage of slower periods and make an investment in yourself. The time you put into improving your skills and knowledge will pay off for you in the end!

What other things have you done to improve your skills during down time? Share your tips with others and leave a comment below.

Who Should You Sell To?

Selling Through The Middle Man

It happens all the time you end up talking to someone other than the person who needs the product and it seems to end with “I’ll talk with them and get back to you.” If only there was a better way to handle that situation…well as you may have guessed, there is!

On today’s show discover:

  • …how to more effectively build value when you’re talking to the “middle man;
  • …how to uncover emotional hot buttons that have impact;
  • …and how to sell more when someone’s calling or shopping for someone else.
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Your information will never be shared or sold to a third party.

Subscribe to the Show

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I’m Calling for Someone Else

Have you ever heard this before?

“I’m calling for my husband” “I heard the ad and wanted to find out more about it for my sister”

In sales, this happens all the time. You find yourself talking to someone other than the person who will be using your product. It’s usually the wife, husband, mother, father, daughter, son or friend…some nice person who is doing the leg work and gathering information.

Problem is, this doesn’t fit the sales process. How are you supposed to sell to someone who isn’t there?

If you’ve tried to sell through one person to another you know how hard it is!

The phone rings, you pick it up and greet a customer named Fred. Before long you find out he’s calling for his wife Wilma. So you work with Fred to find out what Wilma needs but it’s hard because you’re not talking with her directly. (and he doesn’t seem to have all the answers)

You paint the best picture you can, but it doesn’t really seem to resonate with him. You go for the close and Fred says “ well that sounds good….I’ll talk it over with Wilma and get back to you.”

BUMMER…lost another one.

You’ve seen top salespeople close these calls so you know it’s possible but what exactly do they do? If you asked them they would tell you  “sell to the person you’re talking to.” In other words they don’t try to sell to Wilma, they sell to Fred.

I know, you’re thinking “well sure if Fred wants to use the product too it’s easy but what if he doesn’t need the product?” No problem, you still sell to Fred….here’s how it works.
You greet Fred and build rapport, as always, and at some point he tells you he’s calling for Wilma. You start asking probing questions to understand Wilma’s needs. So far, the process is the same as always. However, when you start exploring hot buttons you shift your attention to Fred.

Why switch to Fred? Because in-order to make the sale you need to build value and to do it so it’s meaningful for Fred you need his hot buttons. So, you work to understand, on an emotional level, why he wants to help.

Imagine that Fred’s calling because your product might help reduce the pain Wilma has in her back. You might ask Fred how long it’s been a problem for her, what else has she tried, does it seem to be getting worse or better, so you have a better idea of what’s going on with Wilma.
But then as you transition to uncover hot buttons you ask Fred,

“How do you feel when see Wilma suffering with this pain, how would it make you feel if you could do something to take her pain away, how has this pain been affecting you Fred?”

Now you’re uncovering powerful emotional hot buttons and you’re bringing Fred into the sales process.When you build value it has meaning for him.

…“Just imagine seeing Wilma smile again, knowing she feels better, she isn’t in pain and you helped her. Best of all you can go out dancing again like you used to when you first met, she will be so thrilled. Helping her get her life back, is really what’s most important to you isn’t it Fred?”

In the end, you’re helping Fred make a good decision so Wilma can feel better and you made it happen by selling to the person you’re talking to.

Today’s One Two Punch:

Sell to the person you’re talking to, and make more sales

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Using AAA to Keep Your Sales Out of The Ditch

Keeping Your Sales on the Road

In this episode of the K.O. Sales Coach we’re talking about a deflection technique you can use to keep your customer interaction heading in the right direction.

On today’s show you’ll discover a proven technique:

  • … to maintain rapport;
  • …to keep control;
  • …and to politely move your customer back to the sales process.

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When Customers Interrupt

Has this ever happened to you ? You meet a customer and you greet them with a big smile on your face but before you can even ask their name they interrupt.
“I just want the price!”
“They said it was free”
“Look, I don’t have time for all your mumbo jumbo just tell me how much it is.”
…and that smile on your face? It deflates like a balloon with a slow leak…. you’ve lost control and you’re bracing for a tough customer interaction.

So, why do customers interrupt anyway? What do they want?

Some customers may interrupt to gain control of the conversation, others may be in a hurry  but almost all of them want to know the price.  But, you know if you give the price before you’ve had a chance to establish value |you’re in danger of driving the whole sales process right into the ditch.  And if you refuse to give the price or ignore the customer you’re in the ditch with an angry customer!  So what do you do….?


There is a proven sales technique that allows you to address the customer’s concern while still maintaining rapport and control of the call. The technique is called AAA and it can keep your sales process on the road  and out of the ditch.

Triple A stands for

  • Acknowledge,
  • Address
  • and Ask.

It’s an easy three step process and it works for virtually any interruption your customer makes at the beginning of the sales process. Most of the time, triple A is all you need to get back on track.

Why Does AAA Work?

First it starts with the acknowledgment, it’s positive, and it let’s your customer know you heard them.  By using their name you’re also reinforcing that you’re just two people talking. It’s not a salesperson to customer conversation. You’re continuing to build rapport.

Next, you address the concern and say something like “I’ll be glad to tell you all about the great promotions we’re running today.”

Finally, you ask a question to maintain control and move back to the sales process. Something like “Did you hear about _Cool Product_on the radio?”

But what if your customer asks again? No problem, you’re still going to use AAA but this time you’re going to be a bit more specific when you address the customer’s concern.

“I understand you want to know the price. I want to make sure that Cool product is right for you. Let me ask a few quick questions. Then we can talk about the promotions you heard about on the radio. What health concern prompted your call?”

Often, this is enough to get the conversation back on track. But occasionally you have a very persistent customer who insists on getting the price. The best thing to do if the customer asks a third time is to give them the price and make your presentation.

Trying to deflect again, three times in a row might damage your rapport and set up a combative situation. However, since you haven’t had a chance to build value or get to know your customer you’re not going to close.  Instead, you’ll ask the next logical question to maintain control and pick up the sales process right where you left off.

Remember, most of the time one deflection is enough to get the customer back on the sales process.
As a deflection technique, AAA is very effective.  But it should only be used when a customer interrupts at the top of the sales process.  Using it to answer a customer’s question or to overcome an objection would be like going through a revolving door with skis on… hard to do and just plain weird.

So now you know how and when to use Triple A to deflect customer interruptions. When you Acknowledge, Address and Ask you maintain rapport and control.

Today’s One-Two Punch

Use Triple A and Maintain Control

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