Thoughts on Developing Sales Relationships

I believe I have a unique perspective when it comes to sales. My personal philosophy from the start of the sales cycle to the end is that I want to be someone that person trusts and hopefully more so, someone that person likes. Keeping this in mind, I often search for a common thread between us during our conversation, whether its our affinity for Italian food, dislike of winter, or that we both have spent some time in a similar city for an extended period of time. “Oh you guys are located down in Miami? I actually caught a 7ft barracuda a couple of years ago there with my family.” If you can find a common link between yourselves, now this person subconsciously respects you more and understands you are less focused on the sale and are more interested in helping them meet their needs.

 

Other things I try to stay away from are hard selling and aggressively upselling. Hard selling might be effective when you are selling something extremely cheap, and like the scenario of the pushy musician outside of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC who is peddling his $5 mixtapes and you just buy it so he goes away. This won’t work with higher end goods and services, because most companies do their due diligence and have to go through a series of actions in order for approval. With that in mind, the best thing you can do is be patient and keep the notion in mind that your first few calls are to help your prospect understand your product or service as well as you do. The better they understand it and explain it at the water cooler at lunch, the better they can sell your own product to the other decision makers.  The upselling will come over time as the customer matures.

I try to research the prospect as much as possible using LinkedIn, Facebook, Hoovers, Corporate Bio’s and of course Google. Doing research offers valuable information on the background of the company, the profile of the prospect and any recent news that may effect the decision being made. Your sales pitch is going to differ when speaking to the CTO as opposed to the CEO, varying from obviously more technical questions to more business related and financial questions.

Another important thing, try and treat each relationship with a customer or prospect as if it were a deep friendship, but at the same time don’t be emotional about it. I feel like a similar situation to this is when you get paired up with random people playing golf. Everyone hopes the other twosome doesn’t show and when they do you kind of have this resentment towards them for the thought they are going to slow you down and be annoying throughout the day. That quickly fades after everyone shakes hands and exchanges names. After a couple nice shots, a lot of bad shots, and a handful of funny stories being traded between both parties, it is like you have known the guy forever and he trusts you and you trust him for making the day a good one. You can think of sales like this too. They are calling you with this same mindset, they want answers, not specifically from you, and they want it to be painless. If they didn’t have to talk to you then they probably wouldn’t, but since they are you should try and make it less like you are selling them and more like you are consulting them. This will increase their trust factor with you and ultimately strengthen your overall relationship.

Final thoughts, and there will be more to come, do not overthink this process or you will sound and act like that sales person we all hate. Be yourself, be their consultant, and be real.

About Simple Strategies LLC

Simple Strategies LLC is a market-focused, process-centered organization that develops and implements innovative online marketing solutions for our clients. We use all the resources of the internet to meet your marketing needs and always bring a "customer first" approach to everything we do.

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