Written by: Jack Kosakowski
There is a lot of talk about relationships being the reason that people buy. I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit lately and I’ve battled with this “ideology” for a while now. One day I believe that relationships are the key driving factor and then I flip-flop a day later. My lightbulb went off today and therefore you are getting this piece of content with my epiphany of awesomeness!
All Sales Reps Have Relationships… But Most Have “NO” Revenue!
In my twelve years as sales pro I’ve seen a lot of other sales reps … come and go! There was one common denominator that every sales rep I’ve worked with had; they all prized “RELATIONSHIPS.” Most reps go sales job to sales job and have built relationships along the way. It’s pretty common that a sales rep pitches the clients they have “closed” at their previous job along with friends they have, or family members that relate to the current product they are trying to sell. The issue is that 20% of sales reps do 80% of the revenue. Does that mean that these 20% of the sales reps have 80% of the relationships as well? Well … I highly doubt that.
Relationships Influence & Strengthen Sales Only
How many relationships do you have right now, as a sales professional, who could and should buy your product? How many of those people have you had the conversation with and have converted to revenue?I’d say that number is pretty low unless you have been selling the same product for a really long time. Now, with that being said I truly believe that you have to build relationships now,… so you can plan for the future when your buyer is ready to buy. Your relationships are important because once you’ve built the right relationships, the right way, you now have the influence needed to strengthen the business relationship purchase of your buyer.
People Buy from People When…
The old saying that “people buy from people,” is somewhat comical to me. OF COURSE “people buy from people.” All you need is a little common sense to understand that, or all the other sales jargon that we read about. The truth of the matter is “People buy from people WHEN they have a business problem that they need fixed, and people only buy from people at the right time they need to fix it. You might have had a lucky deal or two where someone bought out of character because of your relationship but there is no way that your company (or you) can survive off of that.
Start Building The Right Relationships Now…
Now, with the three points that I just talked about… Don’t go and try to twist my words saying that I don’t think relationships are important. I’m the king of relationships if you know me. I’d say I love making new relationships more than Donald Trump loves his toupee.
The upshot is, there has to be a business need. That’s what drives the sale. If you start thinking of relationships as the trigger that makes the decision swing in your favor and not the silver bullet, it will strengthen your sales career. You have to be patient, solve business problems through education first, solving a problem second, waiting for the buyer to have their moment of “aha,” and be there along the way to influence their decision at the right time. Plan now so that your pipeline is full of great business conversations and relationships that are just waiting for their “aha” moment after you set the trigger and wait for it to click!
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