Sales is about convincing someone to buy something, but more fundamentally, it’s about one person reaching out to another with a genuine belief that they can help. None of us like pushy, aggressive sales tactics – they are off-putting and can actually decrease the likelihood of making the sale – or of building a long-term business relationship.

Here are three guidelines to help you develop successful relationships in business – and in life!

1. Take your foot off the gas 

  • Respect boundaries and emotional distance. It’s hard to be someone’s best friend, or become a virtual member of the family, in the space of a 45 minute phone call.
  • Build trust slowly, and move along to the next meeting where you talk more about the benefits of working together.
  • The more often you meet and give a no-pressure proposal, the more likely your chance of having a successful relationship.

2. Think of the long game

  • A business relationship isn’t just about making quota for the month end, it’s about providing a service that the customer will want to return to every time they need your type of service. 
  • When they think of buying your widget or service, you want them to think of your name without hesitation.
  • Someone may not buy now or ever, but they may refer someone, or come back to you years later.

3. No response? It’s not personal.

  • No response from someone is rarely about you. People have priority projects, they get sick, get promoted or fired, have sick kids or family members that need them, they get in car accidents, and think back to the old days – they may be taking an overseas vacation! 
  • Call back on a regularly spaced basis, and be kind and inviting – so they will want to get back to you without feeling guilty.
  • Treat every ghost lead like a yes lead and find other ways to connect with them, like on LinkedIn, or by sending them information that crosses your desk you think they’d find interesting.

If you or your company wants to improve communications

Unrivald Digital can provide you with services and tools to help you communicate effectively with staff, customers, and to those that are visiting your organization via social media, Google searches and on your website. Visit us at to book a no-obligation consultation and receive a complimentary audit of your digital presence.

About the author: Blair Shunk is the founder of Unrivald Digital, and is a self-proclaimed master at emotional intelligence. He recently mastered the skill of humility (he claims to be #1 when it comes to humility) and hopes to master sincerity in the near future.

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Gary Pitcher

Web Developer

Gary has forgotten more about technology than most of us will ever know. He’s worked in dozens of industries in a wide variety of roles and solves difficult problems recreationally. By the time you’ve formulated your question, Gary already has an answer, which would be annoying except he’s so darned nice about it.

Adrian Proctor

Web Developer

When you put Adrian behind a keyboard, magic happens. On stage, that means he’s making music. At work, he’s bringing website designs to life. Adrian is probably the quietest member of the Unrivald Digital team, but when he speaks, we all listen because we know he’s got something important to say.

Shaheen Bhimani


Shaheen is the guy you want in your corner when you’ve got a complex problem to solve in the next 15 minutes. He’s part MacGyver, part Tony Stark and part while still being the nicest guy in the room, hands down. His soft-spoken, down-to-earth vibe and ability to deliver makes him a client favourite.

Blair Shunk


Whether leading a meeting, riding his motorcycle, or running in the Banff Jasper Relay (for which he was Race Director for many years), Blair connects with the world around him. He inspires his team to work hard while never forgetting the value of the relationships he builds with clients.