Relationship and trust may be two of the most overused phrases in the sales profession. Are they both critical in the sales process? Absolutely. So what’s the problem with relationship selling?
The biggest problem comes from what most people think ‘building a relationship’ even means.
Here is what it is NOT:
- Visiting an account at a high frequency (aka becoming a professional visitor)
- Spending more time with the prospective client than anticipated
- Knowing how many kids/cats/ant farms they have and where they grew up/went to school
- Partaking in social activities together
- Laughing and having fun with each other
The biggest challenge the traditional sales rep has is the failure to understand a Business Relationship vs a Personal Relationship. No one buys from you because you are their friend.
A true relationship is established when the other person receives value from your interactions. This is not based on time, the number of donuts/swag/magnets you drop off, knowing what their favorite meal is or what their golf score was last week.
How many of your people are out building personal relationships when they believe they are building business relationships? Is it an awareness problem or do they lack the skills to actually create value before a product or service is delivered? Anyone can be seen credible once results from purchasing a product or service happen. Highly skilled sales professionals create and build value before an order is even placed and use their personal relationship as a final tipping point in the process.