You don't have to be their friend

Last week I was out on some sales appointments with one of my clients. In their industry, the relationship style selling approach is considered to be the way to go. In one of the meetings, my client had a prospect who had a bad experience with their company in the past and was a little bit resistant to buying.
When my client asked a few questions about their operation, it was quite apparent the prospect was doing a number of things wrong that was hurting their business. In the interests of improving the relationship, instead of tactfully letting them know where they're going wrong and what they can do to improve, my client just brushed over it and played the nice guy.
In sales, the relationship approach doesn't work as well as it used to. In fact, sometimes you're doing the customer a disservice by being nice. Dixon and Adamson, authors of the Challenger Sale, found after extensive research that "relationship selling" is the least effective approach to selling in the 21st century. They found the top performing sales people are those that challenge the status quo and value adding value over being nice.
In my client's case, even though the relationship was quite shaky to begin with, he had an opportunity to add significant value to the prospect by teaching them how they can improve their operation. Selling isn't about making friends. It's about creating value.
Onwards and Upwards,

Posted by Daniel Hall on
Yes have establish true trust before adding value.
Ghese are my thoughts.
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