To become a great salesperson you need to foster and build strong relationships with your prospects and clients. But not everyone wants a relationship with you.
The stronger the relationships that you build 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 professions it is not an absolute principal that I would endorse in every situation and 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, keeping it purely transactional. After all, when was the last time you went out to lunch with the person who fills your gas tank, your pharmacist, your local cable provider or the rep who 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 potentially become all time consuming.
Just to be clear, I’m separating sales and marketing activities as well because when you’re truly looking to build a relationship, then you have a few of your personal needs and agenda wrapped up in the sale. No good.
Look at this from a different angle for a moment. Lets 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 is ultimately my point? Rather than you assuming that your prospects want a relationship, ask them.
Ask a question to uncover what their expectations are regarding the type of relationship they want with the salesperson such as, “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.
Excerpt from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Closing the Sale by Keith Rosen. Reprinted with permission by Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Release Date, January, 2007.
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