The Running Commentary


Relationship building is the key to the art of the selling

Have you ever wondered why it is that some people find it easier to sell than other people?  Why is it that people with exactly the same product achieve very different results when they sell?

Often times I get called a natural salesperson and still other times people will say “you have the gift of the gab”. So is a salesperson born? This has been a question that has been sitting with me for the past few days.  I believe, after working through it, that I have reached a conclusion. 

I do not believe that a salesperson is born, in fact, if anything, I believe that you cannot get any further from the truth.  I have reached the point where I believe that the art of selling can be reduced to one key word.  Relationship…..

This is why I think people have arrived at the point of saying “he is a born salesman”. They believe that somehow this skill is reserved for a few people.  They could not be further from the truth. What you need to realize is that we all are able to form relationships. The depth and breadth of these may differ but form them we all can. When you focus on getting to know someone, then the rest will follow. It stands to reason therefore that unsuccessful salespeople are those that are not able to form strong relationships.

Even unsuccessful salespeople were successful at some point. I think that if you review the success honestly you will realize that this because they had a good relationships in the past.

What I am able to do is form a solid relationship with a client.  The relationship I aim for is not a superficial relationship, based on a sale potential only. I form a relationship first and foremost with the individual. I try to separate them from being simply a client. When I asked my client how their trip was to New York, I really want to know.

Why do I do this?

Well a client is somebody that you look too, to make money from. A friend is somebody you try to help. This is the way I like to think of it.  Sure I charge for the help that I provide, but at the end of the day I like to walk away feeling like both of us has achieved something from the deal.

People will talk about copier salespeople or second hand car dealers, often saying that they are sharks, only interested in the sell.  This may be true of the majority of them, but the successful ones will be those that have continued business. 

 So, there is an inherent risk is this approach and that is when either or both parties feel let down. The recovery is typically quite difficult and sometimes does not happen at all (much like the ending of a marriage). This risk though is worth taking, in my view anyway, because the rewards are often far greater, greater because you win some business, but greater still because you have formed a strong relationship (even a friendship).

I believe that the single biggest challenge facing the corporate sales world is not defining strategies or objectives, but rather teaching the client facing people how to form meaningful relationships with their clients.  

MMMMM sounding a bid familiar now isn’t it??    

artcorporaterelationshipssales effortsellSellingskill

Mike • May 18, 2010

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  2. Dean le Pere May 18, 2010 - 12:26 pm

    So True Mike,

    And when you build relationships then there is trust and with trust comes open communication. Which means your customer will give you a chance to keep his business if by any chance he gets a cheaper product elsewhere.

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