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Use This One Essential Strategy for Relationship Selling

Jul 14, 2008
What does love have to do with sales? Any time you have a relationship with someone, you are selling yourself and putting your integrity on the line. Relationship selling takes on a multitude of forms.

However, the quote, in my opinion, is faulty. If everyone acts righteous in personal relationships and no one ever utters I am sorry, when trouble brews, I believe this is a recipe for disaster. Without hearing an apology, the offended person will begin to stew over the issue, there will be a long-term simmering and finally, like a pressure cooker not carefully watched, an explosion will occur.

The same concept is true for business. Everyone is human and sooner or later we will make a mistake albeit forgetting to follow-up at a designated time or misunderstanding what the other person meant.

Just as the little things can break up a marriage, so can the little things break up a business relationship. Your best course of action is to take action to avert the stewing, simmering and ultimate explosion.

Rather than indignation, your first reaction should be to immediately utter, I am sorry. Follow that brief statement with, That was not my intention, how can I (we) fix it?

Once you take ownership of a bad situation, strive to fix it. The second part of taking ownership, is to do it with a smile. Your smile will put the other person at ease. Your swift actions will present you as ethical and trustworthy, and when the other person arrives at this conclusion, you will be the vendor of choice for the long-term.

If you dislike apologizing, you can minimize mishaps in the future by taking these steps:

When someone begins to communicate with you, Stop, Listen or Read carefully and Question. Dig deep with questions to get their true meaning.

Learn the rules and processes of the other person for doing business together. Write their list down on paper so that you have it to refer to. Once the list is finished, ask, Is there anything else you would like to add? This demonstrates, within reason, you are willing to abide by their rules and are truly interested in becoming a model vendor.

The point is, when you begin asking questions, the other party realizes you are interested in working hard on their behalf. The likelihood of conducting business will greatly increase as will the size of the sale.

As in all relationships, business is a two-way street. You are as equally important as the customer. If the relationship is not 50-50, the person with the lesser percentage loses and will feel lost. This next question will pinpoint whether or not the other party is truly interested in conducting business with you.

Ask, If I abide by your rules and am able to produce everything you require will you seriously consider me or my company for your next vendor?

The above question demands that your prospect be honest about intentions of doing business with you. You are a professional and deserve the respect in return.

By not asking these types of questions due to fear, you are opening yourself up to risk. The risk will be in the form of letting others take advantage of you by leading you on without intent of ever purchasing. Most importantly, you will be wasting too many hours of precious time.

It is critical to get a reading on how interested the other party truly is in working with you. Your income depends upon it and you must know whether you are wasting your time or spending quality time with your prospect building your relationship.

If the getting to know you process is taking far longer than it should, and you begin to have doubts, test the waters of intent. You have every right to do so. Sugest to your prospect they begin with the smallest unit of product or service. Follow this question with the following statement, If it provides you with everything I say it will, may wethen move to larger units for your entire company.

This last statement most often will work to get your prospect off of the fence. If a favorable decision cannot be made on your behalf, it is either time to find someone else in the company who can make a decision or find a better prospect. In the end, you are in control of your destiny. It is up to you to keep pursuing!
About the Author
Elinor Stutz, CEO of Smooth Sale, LLC and Author, offers sales training,coaching,speaking and a full product line.

Smooth Sale Delivers: Professional Sales Training, Licensing, Coaching, Motivational Speaking and a Full Product Line.

Elinor's book, Nice Girls DO Get The Sale,translated into multiple languages and sells worldwide.

Call 800-704-1499 or
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