By Keith Rosen, MCC
The Executive Sales Coach TM
We’ve all heard this nugget of wisdom a thousand times: “Now remember, what’s most important is to develop a strong relationship with your prospects and customers.” What does this really mean? What’s the how in that statement, the tactical approach?
To become a great salesperson you need to foster and build strong relationships with your prospects and clients. The stronger your relationships with your customers, the easier it will be to sell them, serve them, and support them. While this is certainly true, essential, and indisputable in some cases and in some professions — doctors, coaches, therapists, certain transactions with long selling cycles, to name a few — it is not an absolute principle that I would endorse in every situation, and it can actually hurt your selling efforts.
Here’s why: Some people are just not interested in a relationship. Some people want to get in, make a purchase, and get out; to keep it purely transactional. After all, when was the last time you went out to lunch with your pharmacist, your local cable provider, or the rep you speak with when calling your phone company?
There’s a big difference between developing a relationship and being pleasant, friendly, and service driven. One requires no extra time on your part; one can become very time consuming.
To be clear, I’m separating sales, marketing, and networking activities because when you’re truly looking to build a relationship, you have a few of your personal needs and agenda wrapped up in the sale.
Look at this from a different angle for a moment. Let’s say you sell insurance. Before you sold insurance, did you ever go out to lunch or meet on a social level with your insurance agent? How about the person who sold you your home, copier, or car?
So what’s my point? Rather than assuming that your prospects want a relationship, ask them.
Ask a question to uncover their expectations regarding the type of relationship they want with the salesperson. For example:
- “What are your expectations of the person you are going to buy from?”
- “If you were in my shoes, what would I want to know about you that would help earn your business?”
These questions assist you in crafting the perfect presentation or relationship, every time.
About Keith Rosen, MCC — The Executive Sales Coach
Keith Rosen is the executive sales coach that top corporations, executives, and sales professionals call first. As an engaging speaker, Master Coach, and well-known author of many books and articles, Keith is one of the foremost authorities on coaching people to achieve positive change in their attitude, behavior, and results. For his work as a pioneer and leader in the coaching profession, Inc. magazine and Fast Company named Keith one of the five most respected and influential executive coaches in the country.
If you’re ready for better results quickly, contact Keith about personal or team coaching and training at 1-888-262-2450 or e-mail email@example.com. Visit Keith Rosen online at Profit Builders and be sure to sign up for his free newsletter The Winners Path.