Sunday, July 05, 2009

Relationship Selling

This applies to any type of sales:

Relationship Selling
Relationship selling, simply put, is translating all the effort you currently give to selling into building relationships with people instead. Once enough people in your marketplace know, like, and trust you, sales are the natural result.

Building relationships is something we humans do naturally. We talk on the phone, have coffee or lunch, and work or play together. When you need to make a purchase, you call someone you know. If you don't know anyone who offers that product or service, you ask the people you do know. That's how most business actually happens.

The goal of relationship selling is to know a large enough pool of people so that all the sales you need come to you, instead of you having to go out and find them.

Here are the five requirements to make relationship selling work:

1. You have to like the people you want to sell to. You need to truly enjoy their company -- this isn't something you can fake.
2. You must care about their problems, so when you tell them how your product will solve those problems, you are helping them, not selling to them.
3. You have to believe in your product or service 100 percent. You want your customers to trust you, so that means you have to be honest with them.
4. You must be patient. Relationships take time to grow, and can't be rushed. You will make sales by building relationships, but you won't get it tomorrow.
5. You need to have a plan. Building the right relationships won't happen by accident.

If the idea of relationship selling appeals to you, but you don't meet the first three requirements, there's only one way to solve the problem. You need to find a different target market, or a different product to sell.

Relationship selling is based on authenticity, genuine concern, and honesty. It's not a sales technique that can be simulated without possessing those basic qualities.

Source: Sales consultant C.J. Hayden (

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