It is about Relationships not Transactions
Making your numbers, hitting your quotas, filling the sales pipelines, achieving margin targets, cold calling, the list goes on. However, nowhere in the common vernacular describing the sales process is a discussion about relationships. Selling is not about transactions; success is not determined by conversion rates, revenue growth or new accounts. True achievement is found in one’s ability to forge relationships.
Next to the IRS, selling is the most maligned profession and in many cases, it is so for good reason. When you operate from the mindset of viewing customers as targets, quotas and prospects, you are approaching the process from the perspective of a transaction. Walk on any car lot and you will quickly understand how it feels to be viewed as such. Aggressive, pushy sales techniques may offer quick needling moving results, but if you are looking for sustainable growth, then stop operating from the transactional view and start establishing relationships!
7 ways to build relationships
1. Focus on fit: Approach the interaction with the intention of ascertaining fit. Understanding and matching the customer’s needs with your solutions determines fit. If there is not a fit, don’t force it.
2. Investigate: Do some preliminary research; learn what you can from external sources. Be prepared and ask probing open-ended questions. Make sure to gain clarity and level-set. You want to make sure that you leave every interaction with a mutual understanding.
3. Listen: This might be the most undervalued skill. Listening is good for business. We are all guilty of rushing to judgment, offering our solution. But if you really listen and are fully present for your customer, you are communicating that they are highly valued. Often that leads to learning the real need or want which is often obscured.
4. Be empathetic: Care about them, don’t fake it, actually care. Take the time to get to know them, understand their challenges. This is not only good business it is good humanity and there is no reason the two can’t coexist.
5. Be patient: Let things unfold, don’t rush or push. It is okay to have a call to action, but a customer should never feel as if you are trying to grab their wallet. The process is an investment. Allow it to mature and you will reap the best results.
6. Be a subject matter expert: If your customers can get more information from Google than they can from you, your value will be diminished. Know your product, know your industry and know your space in the market. Add value through information.
7. Build trust: All the above leads to this final step. Trust is the foundation of any successful relationship. It should the objective of any and every interaction. Establish and maintain trust.
Repeat after me, it is about relationships not transactions. If you need help changing the mindset of your organization from one of transactions to one of relationships, we can help; schedule a free Growth session.
Thanks for reading.