Strong Sales Relationships Don’t Equal Friendships

As the author states in this article, There’s a big difference between developing a strong sales relationship and being pleasant, friendly and service driven. One requires no extra time on your part, one can potentially become all time consuming. (Research, reports, diligence, follow up and so on.) Here’s the basis for his distinction between sales relationships vs. friendships:

  • A Great Salesperson Builds Strong Sales Relationships – While this is certainly true, essential and indisputable in some cases and professions (doctors, coaches, therapists, certain transactions with long selling cycles, to name a few) it is not an absolute principal in every situation and can actually hurt your selling efforts. Some people are just not interested in a relationship. Some people want to get in, make a purchase and get out, keeping it purely transactional.
  • Strong Sales Relationships Aren’t Personal – Rather than you assuming that your prospects want a relationship, ask a question to uncover what their expectations are regarding the type of relationship they want with the salesperson such as, “What are your expectations of the person you are going to buy from?” “If you were in my shoes, what would I want to know about you that would help earn your business?”
  • Personable And Friendly Differ From Being Friends But Are No Less Important Distinctions – We all have acquaintances and then we have friends. An acquaintance is someone who you know will be kind and personable when you see them. When you develop a sales relationship with someone, they can rely on you to give them the best exchange and have your best monetary interest at heart, or at least that is the goal. Are they going to help you move, watch your children, or be there when your car gets a flat? No, but that is not what either of you are looking for.

He concludes that a strong sales relationship is built on trusting that someone is trustworthy. Assuming you agree, what are effective ways to build trust with a client or prospect?

November 3, 2022