Nearly 25 years ago, early on in my professional sales career, I had a piece of paper handed to me by the president of the company I was working for. As we sat in his office this one particular day, he detailed the finer aspects of sales…relationship building, to be exact. The note he composed, which to this day is framed and sitting in my office, reminds me constantly of the wonderful contacts that I have made over the years. And it continues to support my personal passion to build solid relationships which lead me to a successful career of selling without having to actually sell!
The note reads: “You can sell more work in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” Dale Carnegie, a pioneer in public speaking and personality development, stated this quote originally in his book: How to Win Friends and Influence People, but Mr. Carnegie stressed “make more friends” instead of the phrase “sell more work.” Either way, the thought, and that piece of paper, always stuck with me and reverberates around me daily. I thought, “build relationships instead of selling…hmmm…he might have had something there!”
So, how does that handwritten note relate back to my passion to sell without selling? The best way to describe my personal belief is to never, ever SELL, but to provide three basic services to the people you come across. And, the relationship will follow. Remember, your clients really don’t want to be sold…they actually want to make decisions for themselves with the priceless information you provide. Easy, right? This can be accomplished through building trustworthy relationships that will endure the test of time (even in this time-sensitive world we live in)!
In order to help your clients make those conclusions, however, they will need just three basic elements: education, collaboration and communication.
If you are providing a service, such as in the “widget” industry, then you will be better served by providing your clients with an education on the process of the industry, rather than selling them actual services your company provides. Producing a widget is not an easy process to learn, therefore, more time is needed to provide the client the tools needed to make informed decisions. No matter how knowledgeable your client is on the subject, there is always something you can bring to the table to educate them. Always, remember, even the most senior widget expert can be taught a new trick. So, be patient…take that time to educate, even if it takes several attempts. It will pay off for you in the end!
Do you take the time to educate your potential and current clients?
Check back next week for Part 2 of the series: Collaboration.