Have you ever walked away from a sales situation—whether it is buying a car or an appliance—because you did not trust the sales person? Conversely, have you ever bought something because a friend recommended it? Selling is part of life. Whether you call it selling or persuasion, there are four fundamental truths that apply to all selling situations—whether it is reacting to the recommendation of a trusted friend or to what a sales person is trying to persuade you to buy.
- Without meaningful dialogue, there is no selling. I make a distinction between selling and buying. Selling requires an exchange of ideas. The seller has a solution whether that is a product or service or idea. The buyer and the seller need to communicate so they understand each other.
- Where trust and rapport are strong, selling pressure will appear weak. As the buyer, you react differently if you feel the sales person has your best interest at heart. Through words and actions if this person demonstrates that they are looking out for you and helping you get what you want, then it is probable that you will listen to what this person has to say with an open mind.
- Where trust and rapport are weak, any selling pressure will seem strong. If there is no relationship, no trust between the seller and the buyer, then mistrust exists. If I don’t have a relationship with you and you advise me to buy something that you are selling, I can only assume that it is in your best interest to do so (and not necessarily mine).
- The more you learn from your customers, clients, and coworkers, the more likely you are to have personal relationships with them. People like to be validated. The more time and attention you pay to learn about your customer as an individual, the more likely that you will develop a relationship with that person.
The skilled sales person recognizes the value of developing relationships with their customers. I’m not talking about friendships, though that may develop too. But to be effective in selling you need to be seen as a trusted colleague and advisor. Don’t take my word for it. Analyze where you are successful as a sales person and you’ll see that these truths apply. Then take those next steps and develop relationships with your customers. You’ll both be glad you did.