In the frantic world of sales that we live in, it's easy forget what’s really right for the customer. We’re so focused on transactions that we overlook the bigger opportunity: relationships.
Whether you’re in the world of car sales, software sales, or B2B office supply sales, this one applies to all of us.
Our sales world is built around transactions. In the new connection economy, this approach is DOA. If you believe the saying caveat venditor (seller beware), the majority of us in our industry are dead meat.
For years, we've put far too much emphasis on the transactions that help us attain our quotas, overlooking the necessity of doing what’s right by the customer.
Here are some simple and practical ways that social selling can help make sure better at relationship selling:
Make an Introduction
As a salesperson, one of the best things you can do to sell a relationship is tell a prospect or a customer when you can’t help them. No sense in jamming a solution down their throat when you know it’s not the right fit. Do the right thing here. Let them go.
Instead, introduce them to someone that can help them. Maybe you’ve got a contact that has the perfect solution for them; faster, better or cheaper. Don’t be shy about telling them. They’ll thank you for it and you’ll have gained an invaluable ally who will go out of their way to bring you more prospects in the future. Relationship selling at its finest.
Remember, it’s about the relationship. Not the transaction.
Find an Introduction
Sometimes you just won’t have anyone in your network that can help. If you really want to go out of your way and impress someone, try to help them find the right relationships, even if you don't know where to start.
Talk about a stellar way of standing out and selling a relationship. You’ll help cement your reputation as a “pay-it-forward” sales professional who only wants what’s best for your customers and prospects.
I recently met a sales professional who recently helped one of her prospects find a far more cost-effective solution than her own. Her premise was: “this prospect doesn’t need my solution if they’re just starting out”. She respected the prospect enough to guide them down a better path and she used her expertise to help them - not goad them into her funnel.
What happened will startle you. First, her prospect was so grateful that they weren’t being spoon fed a typical sales pitch that they ended up referring four people to here (two of whom became clients). Since then, one of those clients has already referred another one. And to bring this story back full circle, the original prospect signed up as a client a few months ago because now the salesperson’s solution made more sense for them.
Selling the relationship first paid off.
Create Value Before Receiving It
The moral of the story is that in the new world of sales, you are going to have to create value first before expecting it in return.
Don’t focus on canned and generic sales bravado like “Always Be Closing”. Focus instead on Always Be Enhancing. This is a concept that most of us claim we’re comfortable with, and sure, we may even practice it to a small degree. But most salespeople aren't embracing the principle to the extent they should be for their customers and prospects.
The Bottom Line
Forget today. Think about the future.
While it can be rewarding in the short-term to focus on transactions, it will harm you in the long-term. Build and sell relationships and focus on helping your prospects at all costs. Social selling is a great way to practice relationship selling principles.
Because today's buyers are smarter than ever, it’s us sellers that have to be on alert. Your typical sales push just won’t fly anymore. Don’t believe me? Let me show you. Schedule some time with me today to learn how to help your prospects in ways that are more meaningful.
Your career karma will thank you.
So what are you waiting for? Download the below guides .