People buy from people, It has been said thousands of times, it never get’s old… why? because it is true. People really do buy from people, you could have the best service in the world but if the customer, prospect or client doesn’t like you then it’s a proven fact that you will not get the business or grow business, and more so in the current climate.
Gone are the days that a business could meet with a client, tell them all about their products and services, do a little negotiation and close a deal. One of the outcomes of the last fews years changing economy has been that customers want more for their money and the expectation to deliver is high. From retail to finance, service industry to manufacturing, everywhere a business is involved the emphasis is much more focussed on building strong, long lasting, mutual respect relationships.
I was speaking with a buyer at a large corporate client about some of the sales people and partners they work with. They stuck with a supplier, a parcel delivery company that had been through very hard times and the service they offered hadn’t been 100%. When I asked why they hadn’t moved to another supplier they told me because they had a good relationship and knew that this company would look after them in the long run, the buyer then added that the relationship was built around the supplier not only knowing the needs of their business but also them. Then she told me a story about the sales person remembering the dates of her children’s birthdays and asking about the birthdays when they spoke.
This is a great example of a sales person at their best. When sales people remember the small things they build a lasting impression in the minds of the client. Taking this to the next level, when sales people craft the benefits of their product or service to the needs of the client they begin to build respect and understanding.
Consultative Selling, is a highly regarded technique in which the sales person is an expert consultant to their prospect and builds an alliance with an emphasis on the relationship. Using a consultative approach means not selling something to a customer that they do not need. It means being honest and upfront about which product or service best meets the requirements of the customer. Understanding these specific needs takes skills and knowledge to build an offering that will be specific enough for the client to want to deal with you, at the same time building rapport to ensure a long term relationship.
Relying on transactional sales will ensure your product will be seen as just that, a product, and not the valuable part of their business that it really is. The more you can identify the correlation between their business and yours and then building a strong relationship, the greater the chance of them considering working with you.