We don’t like to be sold to, but we do love to buy. How many times has someone tried to “sell” something to someone and they are not going to buy? How many times have we sighed inwardly as we are approached by a smiling, shark-like person, their only aim is to part you from your hard-earned cash? I know I have done both! As a salesman for many years, I’ve tried and failed at all sorts of approaches to increasing sales. Now, if you are into a quick sale, this blog is not for you. The quick sale requires us to “get-in-and-get-out” as quickly as reasonably possible, preferably with an order under our belts.
I’ve been subjected to the hard sell and it’s no fun for the salesperson or the victim. I use the term victim because the hard sell requires the salesperson to use psychological tricks to wear down the resistance of people and close the sale. Relationships are for your spare time, if you get any. They are not for the sales environment for this type of salesperson. Sales are all that matter.
For those of us where we are in markets that require a more complex conversation and therefore relationship with customers and potential customers, then this approach just won’t work. Even so, I discover companies and their sales teams consumed by tools and techniques to close the sale, rather than developing relationships based on an equal, open and honest approach.
Equal: Relationships are built on mutual benefits and working together to develop collaboration and trust. When business relationships are equal, we are aware of our power within the relationship and our partner’s power too. We are leaning up against each other as well as working with each other.
Open: I know exactly what you are getting and you know what I’m getting. Procurement specialists think “Open Book”. Quite often the book open is only on the supplier side, not the vendor’s side of things. This cannot be equal or open, now can it? Open means just that. True partnerships are transparent. Admit right up front that mistakes will be made and agree together that instead of blaming each other, you will work together to resolve them.
Honest: This means admitting our mistakes and owning up to-and working on- areas of weakness in our systems or organisation. Your partner should be doing the same too, if it is going to be equal. Now honesty is a difficult judgment call, you will agree. Being too honest could land you in a heap of legal trouble nobody wants, perhaps! There is a self-preservation issue regarding honesty and this should be used with discretion. But…. the deal here is your attitude towards your partner regarding your dealings together. The basis should be honesty, or working towards the level of trust required for both parties to operate in an environment of trust and honesty.
All of the above may seem Utopian to you, however if you aren’t working towards a version of the above, what are you working on that will ensure customers stay with you and won’t be poached by your competition?
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