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Monday, October 11, 2010

Relationships, And Their Role In Selling

I didn't realize until I took a job in sales how valuable your relationships with people really are. Whether it's your neighbor, your family, your friends, or your clients. Whoever those relationships involve, there is value there if the relationship is a strong one you've spent time and effort building over the years or months. I've heard some unsuccessful salespeople say that they don't care about "those customers"...that they're just a sale that will get them by, and they don't really care how those clients respond to the sales pitch. That they don't really care how their message is received, as long as that person buys something! Huh???? 

The truth is that with that kind of nonchalant attitude, these salespeople don't really care about much, do they? If they approach their work this way, imagine what else they think of in the same way! And the kind of clients they attract will be the same kind of clients that they are as salespeople. Disengaged, nonchalant, and lacking in passion. And probably one time buyers, too! That is not the way to build a relationship, or a business. It's definitely not the way to keep a business going! You have these kind of salespeople working for your business, then your business is going to fail! Their approach to selling is not really selling! It's called clerking! You're just a clerk when you have that kind of attitude, and in the long run, you will not succeed in sales! 

Where is the passion for their product? Where is the drive to excel? Where is the dedication to a craft? And selling is a craft, even an art at times! You go ahead and watch some of the best salespeople in action, and you tell me that what they do is not magical! And the best salespeople know that it's the repeat business with clients that they actually treat as friends that are the real bread and butter for their company! Not the smaller one time buyers.(Not to say that those customers aren't important, but they are not on the same level as the former, by any means!)

So, I've always approached my customers as if they are friends! That's been the key to my success in sales. You not only want your clients to see you as a professional, who is fully engaged in helping them achieve a goal, but the great clients (the ones who will give you repeat business) are the ones that truly want to feel as though they are building a relationship with you that is valuable. That's the most important lesson in selling! I cannot stress this enough. The customer can tell: 1) If you're lying to them 2) If you're faking being interested in what they have to say, and 3) If you don't truly value the relationship you have with them. Believe me, your best clients are those that view you as an extended part of their family, and who absolutely LOVE talking and engaging with you. They are the ones with whom you've built trust and communication throughout every interaction you've had together.

Sound complicated? Well, you're in sales for a reason....to add value to an interaction, and to add value to a person's life through whatever it is you happen to be selling. So, really take the time to provide that quality interaction, and let your great clients know how truly important they are to you. And take the time to show them how much you appreciate their business. After all, without them, you would not have a job! 

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