When we launched our business years ago, we didn’t have all the resources in place. The main capital I had as the founder of the company was competence and the ability to connect with people. We explored our ‘relationship capital’ and of course, our ability to do the job exceptionally well. This strategy has become today our corporate culture. We believe in building relationships. We also believe in delighting our clients. This is our strength. This is why we are able to find an enviable place in our industry. In sales, nothing beats competence and the ability to connect with people.
Human beings are creatures who like to connect. They like appreciation and association. No man can exist alone, hence the saying, ‘‘No man is an island.’’ It is by connecting effectively and efficiently with one another that businesses and relationships excel. The business environment today has gone personal, everyone wants to give a personal touch to customers and prospects. Customer service departments of organizations are improving their knowledge base and strategies by the day to ensure that their organizations stay on top. They improve their strategies to ensure they connect more with their customers and prospects. The more you connect with your customers, the more you protect your business from activities of competitors.
Salesmen are not left out in this new world of business where a lot is determined by the ability to connect with buyers. Today’s selling is about relationship. One factor that will stand firm in any business relationship even when other things fail is the cordial relationship you have built over the period. Buyers will likely stand with a salesman who is their ally. People naturally protect true friendship. This is human nature.
The more you connect with your customers, the more you protect your business from activities of competitors.
I often talk about the artistic nature of selling. This aspect of selling is where the salesman displays creativity and ability to bond with the buyer. A salesman who has mastered better ways to relate with his customers and prospects will always be successful. He will be successful because he has discovered his customers; he has also discovered their needs. You cannot sell unless you know.
In personal selling, it is easier and faster to sell when you have discovered. You may not necessarily sell until you know. You must discover before you sell and you cannot discover what you have not connected with. You must connect with people before you know them. When you know them, you create the environment to discover their needs. When you discover their needs, then the business of selling to them begins. This is simple logic. This is the psychology of selling.
It takes a lot to discover your customers and prospects. It takes the man who has nurtured the buying and selling relationship to a personal level to discover the customer. A salesman who succeeds in connecting with the customer often excels because of the relationships he developed, and not necessarily because of any other reason. The logic also goes that the more you connect with customers or prospects by way of building good relationships with them, the more you sell. People will always buy from salespeople they like and trust. They will buy from salespeople they like because human nature encourages solidarity. They will also buy from people they trust because integrity begets value and high quality.
Professionalism should not be sacrificed on the altar of friendship.
Salesmen should note that friendship with customers and prospects should not be taken for granted. Being friendly with the customer is not a ticket to cut corners. It is not an express approval to take advantage of the buyer. Ideal selling represents integrity. This cannot be overemphasized. Integrity should be your guide any time you sell; no matter whom you are selling to. Professionalism should not be sacrificed on the altar of friendship. The salesman should connect with the customer and at the same time be professional – selling the best products and offering the best services. This is the only way to develop, nurture and sustain cordial business relationships.
Again, let me reiterate my regular advice to salesmen- sell emotionally and justify logically. Sell emotionally to explore the existing friendship and also to appeal to the emotions of the buyer. Justify logically to give adequate reasons why the buyer should go for your product. This is the science and art of selling. You can’t go wrong in your selling when these two concepts are applied.