Chances are you have heard that people want to do business with entrepreneurs that they “know, like and trust.” This is even more true today in the crowded entrepreneurial marketplace. What can you do to not only make sales but to build long-lasting relationships with clients? Here are some tips you may want to take to heart because it’s more cost effective to keep a client than it is to market for a new one.

Remember, it’s not all about “sales” you have to keep in mind that it’s about building a relationship. If you start with the hard sell when you meet a client, he will eventually clam up and will likely walk out the door. What happened? Perhaps they came in for information gathering and you went right into “here’s what I can do for you” without listening to his or her concerns.

Focusing on making the sale is a great way to chase potential clients out the door!

You do need to know the features and benefits of your products, but more importantly you need to understand what pain point brought the potential client into your business in the first place. You need to listen more than you talk. When you meet a potential client, greet them, get to know them. Ask easy, probing questions to determine what their needs are.

When you kick off a conversation with a hardsell, you are pressuring a potential client into making a snap decision and he or she is likely just in the information-gathering stage of their exploration.

Talk to them. Ask what brought them to your door. Ask how you can help serve them — not what you can sell them. Building a relationship will make it more likely that you will make the sale.

What do you do to build relationships with potential clients?