Written by Sean McPheat |
How frustrating is that?!
There are many reasons why this may occur, but here are three myths about relationship selling that might explain them.
Firstly, the relationship that you may think you have with the prospect may not be what is in their minds. Remember that clients buy for emotional rather than logical reasons, that is, they buy from the provider they have the best feeling about. Even if you have the best price, they may well go for the company that allows them to take less risk, or provides better marketing opportunities for them.
Secondly, you might have assumed that you had sold your services because there had been no objections. But, think about it…haven’t all your previous clients had a least some questions before they signed up? No objections are a warning sign.
Thirdly, they say all the right things, and you mistake them for buying signals. There may be various reasons for this, but you have to see through them. Perhaps they are just covering for the real decision-maker. Or perhaps they like you and don’t want to disappoint you at the meeting, even though they have no intention of buying.
You may have been hooked on the relationship sell so much that you miss the fact that the prospect has a different agenda and may be leading you in the wrong direction.
Don’t get me wrong, the long-term relationship is the most important thing you can build up with a client. However, don’t put that forward as the be-all-and-end-all of the visits you make to the prospect. Don’t turn the visit into a ‘friendly’ call…make it business-like, cordial and engaging.
Aim for commitment as well as building the relationship. If you do that at each meeting, the prospect will recognise you as someone who is friendly, intelligent AND the kind of person they want to do business with.
Next time, don’t get hooked in to the idea that building the relationship is of paramount importance…it’s vital, but needs to be driven in cohort with the business that you are there to conduct. Be direct and ask for specifics. If they tell you they would like more details, ask for clarification. Ask how the order will be placed, what quantities will be involved and so on. View the smoke screens as exactly that…a screen that needs to be seen through.
Build relationships alongside sales; that way, you will bust the main myths about relationship selling.
The UK’s #1 Authority On Modern Day Selling
Originally published: 23 February, 2011