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Creating Deeper Client Relationships
"It finally occurred to me that I wasn't selling so much as I was joining the customer in buying. After that, it was much easier to do business."
For years sales force development has involved product knowledge, sales tools, sales strategy and tactics and techniques designed to close more business. That isn't enough. You know it and so do your top performers. So exactly what is "it"?
Actually observe top performers - those who have a deep and loyal client following - and see:
- Top performers OPEN by taking a very strong and confident stand about their ability to help the buyer reach a confident buying decision.
- Top performers FOLLOW the customer to wherever he/she wants to take that opening. While listening, top performers are extremely accurate at imagining how the customer is thinking and feeling at the moment.
- Top performers CONNECT themselves and their thinking to fit in alignment with the customer's current point of view.
- Top performers RECOMMEND options only when they themselves believe a given idea is worth pursuing.
- Top performers CLOSE or end their involvement by reaching final conclusions, but only when they reach confidence along with the buyer. They must both reach confidence together. That's the cement to the relationship: mutually achieved confidence.
Salespeople are most likely to earn the trust and respect of their customers if they recognize that customers are decision-makers and treat them accordingly. If both the salesperson and customer see that making a decision is goal of a sales interaction, then they are automatically working toward the same objective.
Effective salespeople are able to put aside their own agenda and seek to understand a customer's needs, problems, and feelings about potential solutions. Then, the salesperson can confidently present ideas and solutions aligned to the customer's goals and objectives. This leads to working relationships rather than adversarial exchanges.
By using these skills with a high degree of respect for their customers as decision-makers and their own role as the decision-getters, your salespeople will see a significant rise in their "yes" decisions and solid partnership relationships capable of repelling competitive attacks.
For more information about these sales and relationship-building skills, see the description of PAR Sales Training, a program devoted to measurably improving these skills and sales success.