” There is a company out in Nevada that advertises, “We create deep, mutually beneficial relationships with all of our clients. Our customers always come back for more!” You know who it is? The Chicken Ranch, one of the biggest whorehouses in the Country. What they say in their “mission statement” is one thing, what they actually DO is something quite different. “Doug Pacheco
I am a relationship person. That means, that wherever I go and whatever I do, I build relationships that often turn into friendships. Those friendships have been built slowly, but deliberately over years. I built them so I could enjoy the other person…their personality, their family, their hobbies and pastimes.
I am also a sales person. That means, that wherever I go and whatever I do, I represent my company, but most importantly, I represent ME. I have not found a customer yet, that wants to do business with ABC Incorporated, or Acme & Associates. Those are entities, I am a flesh and blood person. People want to do business with People…and with people who care about THEM.
Most companies expect their sales team to be fast, transactional and move on to the next victim, er, a, I mean customer. They are “just business” nothing more. “It’s a numbers game!” my old furniture manager used to tell me. Using the current statistics to bolster his argument, he would tell me that I needed to hear 10 no’s before I would get a “yes”.
So I would blow through nine perfectly good opportunities to build relationships in order to get the singular “yes” which didn’t amount to much. Do you know why? It’s because unbeknownst to most sales professionals, a prospective customer is only willing to give business to you commensurate with how committed the sales person is to building into the relationship.
Traditionally, in a world of “slam dunk salesmanship”, there is no time for anything but a superficial (and feigned) interest in the customers life, family or hobbies. Sales calls in the traditional sense, are a lot like going bar hopping in your twenties, looking over the prospects in the room and hoping to get lucky later in the evening without spending an hour or a dime.
Yup, that’s my view of traditional sales people. They want in my pocket, their relationship skills suck, and yet they want me to jump in bed with them without dinner or drinks. It’s “You got what I want…I’ve got what you need…let’s exchange them for something that will satisfy us both.” Afterward there is or isn’t a cigarette and then, they never hear from you again. Hit it and quit it is the name of the game.
Sales like that are more like a one-night stand than anything else. The difference with this is that unlike the bar scene where you may never run into him/her again, the person you just did business with is at the Chamber of Commerce meeting, City Hall meetings, Parent Teacher conferences and when you come in the door, they are whispering to all the other girls or guys in the corner, “Watch out for that one! That one want’s it all on the first date!”
This is why you experience nice, smiling people who shake your hand, but whom you never hear from again because they almost always do business with the competition.
Never forget that customers talk to each other because they do business with each other!
If you have made sales your profession; and it was my profession for 30+ years, you have probably discovered that your company mission statement reads something like: “To build strong partnerships and long lasting relationships with our valuable customers” but the REAL expectation in the sales meetings is, “You are expected to close 5, 10 or (whatever number) deals this week and every week. Go fill the pipeline and get going! In other words, the mission statement talks “marriage” but the sales philosophy is “sleep with anybody”!
There is a company out in Nevada that advertises, “We create deep, mutually beneficial relationships with all of our clients. Our customers always come back for more!” You know who it is? The Chicken Ranch, one of the biggest whorehouses in the Country. What they say in their “mission statement” is one thing, what they actually DO is something quite different. The point is, mission statements are not always the practice of a company.
So, how do you change from selling like a pick up artist in a brothel to relational salesmanship? If you are working for a company whose mission statement talks all about building relationships, but where the sales meetings just want numbers… my best advice for you is “RUN!” You will never be able to be a relational sales professional working in a brothel. Believe me, it is better to find an organization that values LONG TERM RELATIONSHIP. Why? I think it is obvious.
Long term relationship building touches all of the deepest needs of a business owner and the business community and in the long run is the most LUCRATIVE.
Having been a sales professional AND a former pastor and missionary, I can tell you that the comparison between building a business and building a church are VERY similar. As a pastor, if you only go out and do nice things, like take food to shut ins and visit people in the hospital, just so they will come to your church and give money, they will smell it a mile away. You can’t build a church in a TRANSACTIONAL way. In other words, “I will bring you food if you’re down on your luck right now, IF you will then come to the church and be a part of my building project.” Unconditional love is not Quid Pro Quo. If there are conditions to it, then it isn’t “unconditional”.
Pastors must be individuals who have had their “insides transformed” so that they actually CARE about people. The people feel the love and caring, and as a result, many times, they begin to attend church where they were loved. Pastors build their congregations “RELATIONALLY”. They can have all the big programs they want, specialized child care, super duper youth activities, but if there is no true relationship building where love sacrifices itself for the other person, there will be no church.
SALES IS NO DIFFERENT!!!
Business owners know that there is a cost of doing business, but they are looking for someone who cares enough about their business to LISTEN AND RESPOND to their needs and who will come up with a strategy to help them. THESE ARE THE PEOPLE THEY WILL DO BUSINESS WITH.