By Ellen Gomes
If we have said it once, we have said it a thousand times…business is all about the relationships you build.
We are all familiar with the traditional ways of selling, the old-school push to sell sales tactics and of course, the ABC message—Always Be Closing. However, this outdated message fails to address how buyers buy today. Relationships between brands and customers have changed. With increased competition, the buyer’s ability to perform their own product research, and new technology, today’s buyer expects a personalized buying process.
As Marketo’s very own VP of Product Marketing, Matt Zilli explains, “Brands that win in this world build lasting customer relationships with every single customer.” This reinforces why successful sales leaders today have stepped away from the traditional ways of selling towards a new mindset—relationship selling.
Simply put, relationship selling is a sales approach focused on creating relationships. People buy from people they trust; and the best way to build trust is by first establishing a relationship that’s based on authenticity, concern, and honesty.
It may be weird, but if you feel like this is starting to sound a lot like dating, you’re right. In this blog, I will share with you a few lessons sales people can learn from dating, and how those lessons will improve your selling success.
Don’t Talk about Yourself
Plain and simple, talking only about yourself on the first date is not the best approach to take. It’s important to show interest in the person you are with so ask them questions. As sales people, it’s hard to not talk about your product but keep in mind, the final sale comes down to one thing: how can your product solve the needs of your customer?
People buy because of pain, and to identify what that pain is you need to get your prospect talking about themselves to uncover frustrations. The more information you gather, the better position you’re in to create value and identify your advantage over competitors.
And keep in mind, not everyone knows what their pain is. In this case, I’ve found that using leading questions can really help. For example, “How have you been able to track the ROI of your marketing programs?” (Maybe they aren’t!). Or even try walking through their process start to finish to uncover bottlenecks and gaps along the way.
Look for Signs
Just like in dating, it’s important to pick up on non-verbal cues from your prospect to understand what they are thinking or even discussing offline with their counterparts and key decision makers. One of the biggest deal killers (aside from timing of course) is being blindsided late in the sale cycle without a solid game plan.
Imagine this, after months and months of dating, the time has come for you to propose. All your energy, time, and effort invested into the relationship are about to pay off spectacularly. You get down on one knee and present the most stunning proposal with absolute confidence. There is no way your partner can say no…
The response, “Sorry, but the Go to the full article.