The Danger in Relationship Selling

Apr 20 07:29 2009 Duane Cashin Print This Article

Building business relationships is important to success. Follow these three steps and you will have that success.

I’m sure we would all agree that people buy from those they like.  So it makes sense that we find sales people putting a great deal of effort into being helpful and likeable.  Typically sales people go about establishing their business relationships by providing lots of product information they feel the prospect will find useful in their decision making process.  But is this approach effective?  And does this strategy represent the essence of “relationship selling”?

If you ask executives and company owners how they define effective relationship selling they will often start with what it isn’t.  “It’s not dropping off sell sheets with product information or tickets to some game or event.  It’s not a slick power point in a feature rich presentation.  Heck my daughter,Guest Posting who is in high school, can put together a killer power point.”  So what does it take to develop a “meaningful” relationship with top decision makers?

Here are some of the key elements executive decision makers tell us they want in a business relationship:

1. “The bar has been raised for all of us today.  Information for information’s sake doesn’t cut it.  You have to be smarter than that.  When you link the information to my situation and demonstrate it’s relevance to me, then you get my attention.”
2. “I don’t buy products!  I buy support.  I buy vision.  Things change so rapidly today I need the people I buy from to stick around.  I need them to be my eyes and ears as it relates to their area of specialty and give me a heads up when things change.  I hate surprises.”
3. “I want to do business with smart people.  In fact I don’t want to do business with “sales people” I want to do business with “business people”.  I will only give my loyalty to someone who can make it very clear to me they study, they observe and they understand.  I want to do business with people that understand risk and what it’s like to walk in my shoes.  I want a competitive edge.”

Over the last 12 months I have personally witnessed 4 individuals, who are new to sales, embrace the above 3 elements.  I have watched them study, learn and apply the concepts.  And I have watched them systematically capture the attention of top decision makers and successfully sell their products and services.

Relationship selling can give us all a powerful advantage and help us differentiate ourselves in today’s crowded markets.  If we take the advice of executive level buyers we will realize our greatest success in transitioning our approach from thinking and acting like “sales people” to that of “business people”!

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About Article Author

Duane Cashin
Duane Cashin

Duane Cashin is a motivational speaker and sales trainer who focuses on helping sales and business people differentiate themselves and gain a competitive advantage in today’s crowded and competitive markets.  Duane’s knowledge of how to penetrate the C-Suite was solidified when he worked with Tony Parinello the author of the best selling book Selling to VITO.  As a keynote speaker and sales trainer Duane is known to have the perfect blend of content and humor.

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