The Secret to Sales Relationships – Rock, Paper, Scissors

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Here’s the rock, paper, scissors game of selling:

Relationship is more powerful than price.
Relationship is more powerful than delivery.
Relationship is more powerful than quality.
Relationship is more powerful than service.

The quality of your relationships will determine the outcome of events when there is a problem or issue with price, delivery, quality or service. I’m NOT saying that if you have a great relationship you can ignore important issues and skate by – I AM saying that a great relationship will act as a buffer, and allow all problems and issues to be resolved harmoniously.

And just to put the power of the relationship issue to rest – it is also the single biggest factor in determining re–orders.

The rules of selling are not as tough as the rules of relationship. Relationships are hard to develop, take time to mature, and must be nurtured along the way. BUT once achieved, are the most powerful force in the business world.

Big Proof: Look at the customers you WISH you had. The main reason you can’t get them is that someone else has a better relationship with that customer than you do.

Here are the key words and thought provoking realities that will lead you to rock solid relationships:

Give Value: You build by giving value to them — not facts about you.

Tell Truths: You build by telling the truth even if it hurts or embarrasses you.

Beat Goals: Have an achievable plan. Win big. Develop self–confidence by winning bigger than you expected. Self–confidence is attractive. Customers are especially attracted to it.

More Knowledge: Have as much knowledge about them as you do about your company and your product or service.

Have Answers: Be a Resource. Get to the point where they consider you a resource of information rather than a salesperson.

Tell Stories: Stories help people relate. Tell them one, and they tend to tell you one back. Stories are personal. Stories are revealing. Stories are truth.

Tell How: Tell how you have done it with others. Tell how do you will do it with them.

Build Value: Get them leads or put them in front of contacts that might lead to business for them.

Find Links: Part of the relationship building secret is to break the ice. Find something in common – a link that ties you together. Nothing like going to the same college, or growing up in the same town, or having worked for the same company. Gathering personal information let’s you know where to start.

Use Links: Find stuff that helps them to build their business, and surprise them with it.

Get Personal: Use personal information in a creative, sincere way.

Be There: Stay in front of them without an agenda (asking for the sale), just earn it with valuable information they can use.

Be Friends: Perform acts of friendship as well as acts of business. Have fun. Do non–business things with them.

Here are some bigger “clues”…

Secret Clue: Need additional information on any individual you’re trying to link up with? Easy. Call their sales department – they’ll tell you everything.

Relative Clue: Want to know more about what makes relationships succeed or fail? Look at home for all answers. Your Mom and Dad, brothers and sisters, spouse and kids have all the answers you’ll ever need.

Friendship Clue: After you study your family relationship characteristics, study your friends – especially the way you communicate with them. Notice something different in the way you communicate with best friends as opposed to business people? It’s relaxed, more truthful and less manipulative – try that on your customers.

Reality Clue: How you treat others is determined by how you treat yourself. Are you treating yourself to the right preparation? Are you qualified to build a relationship? Do you possess the characteristics of giving first, professionalism, self–esteem, self–confidence, honesty and integrity needed to make relationships work?

One Reflection: Here’s the real secret. If you think you “have it all together” – think again. You must work on yourself as much as you work on those you seek to relate to. Looking for a way to evaluate your capabilities? The biggest judgment you make each day is the one in front of the bathroom mirror in the morning. Reflections don’t lie.

Want more? Take the Self-Test!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jeffrey Gitomer
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The New York Times best sellers The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Black Book of Connections, and The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude.

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