Sales Isn't About Relationships

increase close rate increase revenue Dec 05, 2023

You hear it all the time… sales is all about the relationship.

But I argue, it's not just about the relationship. It's relationship-type qualities. You've made your prospects feel:

  • Heard
  • Seen
  • Understood

You listened to what they had to say. You asked more questions about them. You didn’t take anything at the surface level and tried to understand them. Then you helped them see how your solution solved their specific problems. You built trust by showing that you were listening and weren’t trying to shove your product down their throat.

But… this isn’t necessarily a relationship. Instead, it’s good sales practice. Not that you were faking it. You were genuinely trying to solve their problems.

Remember, it's not solely about the price, but about who can solve their problems most effectively and affordably.

Consider the 4 options your clients face:

1. Stay with what they’ve always done

  • Change is daunting. There's comfort in the familiar, even when you could make their world better.  
  • Keys... Emphasize the cost of inaction, (Not your ROI). What are the hidden costs of maintaining the status quo?

2. Go with a Competitor

  • Losing to a competitor is tough. It sucks (to be honest). It could be because of the product, price, or better sales process.
  • Keys...the more you are focused on them and their needs PLUS asking questions to understand where they are hesitant or concerned, the more you will connect with them. Can't emphasize enough the power of understanding their concerns. When you know them, you can address them. If not... they still have them and leave the door open for someone else to come in and still the deal that you can and should win.

3. Delay due to other priorities

  • Delays aren't outright rejections BUT might as well be. Time kills deals... even when they say they have chosen you but are putting it on hold for now. Don't get me wrong, I'll take them whenever is the right time. With that said, too many in sales are too "soft" and think by not digging in with them on priorities that it will be better. Reality is, in business, there is a never-ending list of things that come up and will take priority. You can't make your solution a priority but you can help guide them to see the impact which can move it up the priority list. 
  • Keys... Guide them to understand why your solution should be a priority. Build a business case for them in their words with what it will do for them. If your offer has a significant impact, it's worth encouraging them to reconsider the timing.  ***Know that if you are at "cool" status, you probably aren't ever going to be a priority. 

4. Choose your solution

  • There is nothing better than winning a deal. It's exciting and something to be celebrated. You've helped them see how you can solve their problems and trusting your solution will make it better for them.
  • Keys... take a step back and understand why they went with you. Why not someone else? Why didn’t they stay with what they have always done? Why now instead of pushing off? Use these examples as you talk with others. Use their words to help connect with future buyers.

In sales, it’s not about tricking anyone. It’s not about being gimmicky. Those who do it best listen, ask questions to understand, and help the prospect feel seen, heard, and understood. Some say they build a relationship. I say they are problem solvers.

The less you are focused on how shiny your product is and more about what it can do for specific people who are right in front of you… the more you will sell.


PS... the ability to impact someone's world by helping them see what you can do for them is the best feeling in the world. When you do sales right, you aren't selling a product, you are solving problems that take them to the next level. 

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