You’ve been in the sales game for years. Decades, even. You’ve closed hundreds of deals in your career, and no one knows how to move the needle like you. And you know that to close deals, you can’t waste time building trust with someone who can give you key inside insight—they just need to give you the goods and let you get back to selling. Right?

Not exactly.

While you’ll certainly get value from your first meeting with your Emissary, viewing that interaction as little more than a transactional delivery of information isn’t the best way to get maximum, lasting value from your engagement. To do that, you need to build a real relationship and view your Emissary as a strategic partner. We find that when sellers take time to get to know their Emissary from the very beginning, the outcomes are much, much better.

But we get it—you’ve got business to close and sellers to manage. So here’s how to build a great relationship with your Emissary quickly and effectively.

Emissary 101: Starting strong

It’s likely that you haven’t used a service quite like ours before, so knowing what to expect ahead of time will go a long way toward building rapport with your Emissary.

One of the first things that we emphasize to our sellers is the value of sending an email to your Emissary on the date the engagement starts. Introduce yourself, and say what company you’re from and your position there. Give as much context about the account as you can, and don’t be afraid to tap into your sales charm and personalize the experience by giving a fun fact about yourself. Sending that first email is really an invitation to start a relationship rather than an invitation to buy something.

Next, expect the first meeting to be a collegial, getting-to-know-you session. Your Emissary has much to tell you about your target account, but they need to know more about your solution and the value it offers, but above all, they need to know more about you.

Many sellers meet their Emissary for the first time and spend the first 20 minutes selling themselves before simply asking, “So who do you know?” Again, we understand that you’re looking for value immediately, but this isn’t the best way to achieve it. Think of building a relationship with your Emissary the same way you think about building a relationship with a prospect. You don’t just introduce yourself and then ask: “So, are you going to buy or not?” You’re looking to build that human connection, because that connection leads to trust and lasting value.

It’s also worth noting that getting a sense of you personality can help your Emissary provide guidance on how you tailor your communication style to resonate most with your prospect.

All told, expect your first interaction with your Emissary to be a low-pressure meeting where the two of you get to know each other and lay the groundwork for a lasting, valuable relationship. Share your hobbies. Have a laugh. Get to know each other’s career histories and build trust. It’s not a transactional relationship, so keep that in mind from the start.

Do your homework

Our team of Emissaries is made up of former marketing and IT leaders from some of the world’s largest organizations, and the insights they possess can really move deals. But they’re not superheroes—they’re more like strategic advisors, and the more information you give them about your target accounts upfront, the better they’ll help you sell.

Help your Emissary shape strategy by outlining your prospect’s current pain points and how you believe your product can address them. Articulate any issues you encountered in the past that may have led you to Emissary for assistance in the first place. This will give your Emissary a better understanding of what points need sharpening most once you finally go back out into the field to sell.

If you’ve already engaged with contacts inside your prospect’s organization, let your Emissary know, and if not, clue them in into who you’re planning on reaching out to for that first interaction. This will give them a better idea of the kind of personalities you’ll be working with—and whether or not you’re targeting the right folks. They can provide you with intel on that person’s personal communication style and the kind of business concerns that are most often top of mind.

When you walk away from a great first meeting with your Emissary, you can expect to have a better understanding of your account’s key points, priorities, vendor relationships, procurement process, budget, and org chart — but only if you come armed with a little well-researched information of your own first.

Remember that old proverb, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime”? At Emissary, we’re challenging sellers to think about success beyond the confines of any one account. A true, successful Emissary engagement is one that will see you become a better seller for life, and it all starts with doing a little homework of your own upfront.

Let Your Emissary Help You Overcome Obstacles

This is especially important to keep in mind when the deal isn’t going the way you’d hoped. Your Emissary is not going to be disappointed in you if you couldn’t get the meeting on the first try. Trusting that your Emissary will not be disappointed in you and will help you recalibrate is really where our Emissaries shine. It’s also how conversations—and relationships—really get stronger at Emissary. 

Building a strong relationship with someone during a 60-day engagement takes prioritizing, active listening, and ample following-up. Make sure you’re being patient when building your relationship with the Emissary, and not expecting immediate results that lead to you closing the deal tomorrow.

When roadblocks appear, lean on the relationship you’ve built with your Emissary and say: “All right, we’re kind of at a loss right now. Let’s hash this out and figure it out.” Your Emissary can and will be your biggest champion and supporter—if you let them.

Executive Insights

Your engagement with an Emissary is all about closing new business—but getting your prospect to “yes” starts by building a trusting, lasting relationship with your Emissary. By entering the engagement with that in mind, you can build trust and rapport quickly, and by letting your Emissary get to know you personally, they’ll be able to guide you to a close more effectively. It shouldn’t be transactional—it should be an honest, lasting, and meaningful relationship.