Relationship-Building Versus Selling

Being profitable in the business of selling is not just about selling. Ironic, isn’t it? Think about it: success in sales for the long-term requires building relationships with all prospective customers – even those who won’t buy. The best business relationships are not exactly with those who are sold to, but those who are instrumental in referring other customers. They likewise serve as a credibility reference for your business, and this is a priceless advertising strategy. The business they can help you generate may likely be bigger than what they could have bought from you themselves.

It could be time to approach the sales business from a new perspective. Revisit your beliefs about sales and identify what’s keeping you from generating more business.

Traditional Sales Mindset: Deliver a strong sales pitch. Always.
New Sales Mindset: Stop the sales pitch — and start a conversation.

Open with a conversational phrase that focuses on a specific problem that your product or service addresses. If you are not yet aware of this yet, it can be as easy as straightforwardly asking your current customers why they purchased the solution you’re offering. “I’m calling to see if you would consider new ideas related to (the solution to a problem that your product solves)?” This is great for starting a sales pitch without pitching your actual product first.

Traditional Sales Mindset: Your main objective is to close the sale.
New Sales Mindset: Your central goal is to discover whether you and your potential client are a great fit.

Forget trying to “close the sale” or “get that appointment”– and you will discover that you don’t have to take sole responsibility for moving the sales process forward. Simply focus your conversations with potential clients on issues that you can help them address and you will find that these potential clients will actually bring you into their buying process themselves.

Traditional Sales Mindset: Rejection is a normal part of sales.
New Sales Mindset: Sales pressure is the only true cause of rejection. Rejection is unacceptable.

Rejection in the selling process happens for only one reason: it is likely something you said, subtle though it was, triggered a defensive reaction from your prospect. Yes, something you said. To diminish, if not completely eliminate, rejection, simply shift your mindset away from the hidden agenda of ultimately closing the sale. Instead, everything you say and do should stem from the basic mindset that you are there to help your prospect. When your prospects feel that you are there to discuss a solution to their problems and not merely to take their money, rejection will be close to impossible

Traditional Sales Mindset: Keep chasing every prospective customer until you get a yes or a no.
New Sales Mindset: Never chase a prospective customer – this will only trigger more sales pressure.

Persistently chasing down potential customers has always been considered normal and necessary in the sales field, but this is rooted in the old school notion that if you stop chasing, it means you are quitting – and quitting is for failures. But this is wrong. Instead of chasing potential customers, convey that you would like to avoid anything that resembles the old cat-and-mouse chasing game by scheduling a most convenient time for your next conversation.

Sometimes, we could all use to be gently reminded about avoiding the “backslide” into the old school ways of sales thinking. These outdated strategies could be leading us down the wrong path with each prospective customer. Each business can benefit much from building trusted relationships rather than single-mindedly focusing on superficial networking. Go over your business relationships and evaluate them for any entity that you may have “undervalued” due to their lack of sales potential. And then pave the bridges better.