If you are not familiar with what is debatably one of the greatest movies of all time (Jerry Maguire), then at least pay close attention to the quote that I am about to share.
No, not the “SHOW ME THE MONEY” one, but this one: “The key to this business is personal relationships.” – Dicky Fox.
We may not all be in the business of sales or sports, but we are all in the business of building relationships in one capacity or another. Not only are we responsible for building them, but for fostering and growing them into long-term professional relationships.
As an Account Executive, submerged in the full-service IT staffing world, I have become a self-proclaimed ambassador of the importance and practice of relationships sales. I find this method especially effective in the tech space – an industry with an increasing amount of competition where you must set yourself apart.
By definition, a sale is “the exchange of a commodity for money; the action of selling something.”
Relationship selling, on the other hand, refers to an approach to sales which focuses on the interaction between the buyer and the salesperson, rather than the price or details of the product. This is not a new concept, but it is an effective one for today’s service-oriented market.
Relationship Selling is a Win/Win Game
Both parties have the ability to benefit as a result of the sale. When selling and prospecting from this viewpoint, and focusing on building healthy relationships, you are functioning as an ethical and helpful resource.
Not only is this an effective way to create a steady sales pipeline, but it is also personally satisfying. I don’t know about you, but there is nothing I love more than getting positive feedback from my clients, telling me that I helped them in a way that no one else has been able to before. People do business with people they like and trust.
Liking and Trusting Adds Value
…but not enough to compensate for a price or quality gap. Today’s customers are more knowledgeable than ever before and are demanding higher levels of customer service. They ideally want to work with someone that they can trust and who understands their immediate needs and long-term goals.
When you drive conversations that dig deep to uncover a buyer’s needs and pain points, you’ll be seen as a trusted advisor—different from all the rest—and THEN, they will see the value in doing business with you.
So, how do you build that coveted trust in a business environment? The key is to let your prospects and customers get to know you. Make it clear what you love about the business, talk about your passion, and let them see your product or service in the same way you do.
The graphic below, from Dale Carnegie’s “Sales Training: Winning With Relationship Selling,” illustrates the necessary elements of the customer relationship. Learn more about the Dale Carnegie selling sales training here.
Think About Providing Value
Do you do this? Do you think about providing value on a constant basis? Sell the idea that the prospects’ time will be well-spent if they speak with you. Understand that your audience has similar wants, fears, desires, and schedules – respect their time, your time, and deliver value with every conversation.
Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, was famously quoted as saying, “The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best, but LEGENDARY.” Be legendary.
At Objective Paradigm, I determine how services will help satisfy needs and wants. The key for me, is being able to identify problems and how to solve them through building meaningful relationships.
Jessica Krichevsky is an Account Executive at Objective Paradigm, where she brings companies and candidates a competitive advantage through local and industry knowledge, personal service, speed, and an ethical approach. Her greatest goal is to drive business forward by building strong, long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with candidates and clients alike. Connect with Jessica on LinkedIn.