I ran into an old friend of mine recently who has been a top-producing salesperson for many years. I mentioned to him that I have been getting some feedback in my workshops lately about how it is getting harder to establish relationships with buyers because things like email and social networking are replacing face-to-face communication in many cases. My friend smiled and said . . .
“Oh, is that the latest one?”
“One what?” I asked.
“The latest excuse . . . you know like the ones we have always heard like buyers only care about price or the middle men are being squeezed out . . . there is always something people are buzzing about as the demise of relationships in selling.”
“You don’t seem to be too worried about it,” I said.
“Actually, it is music to my ears, because every time I hear that my competitors are giving up on trying to build relationships or relying on something like social networking, I know that is one more person I am going to be able to outsell out there in the real world. I have said this many times and I will say it again. When salespeople say they cannot develop relationships, the bottom line is that they are either uncomfortable doing so or not making it a priority. It takes a huge amount of work and energy to build great business relationships. No matter what the flavor of the month is, there has never been and will never be any substitute for the time and the work that goes into it. The salespeople that make the effort and stick with it will always outsell salespeople who try to use something like technology to shy away from it. Technology is a tool while building a relationship is a dynamic and creative process that all the great ones master.”
Most of the people who read our blog probably share this sentiment, but sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that while a whole bunch of things go into successful selling, having that relationship in play at the pivotal moment can still make all the difference.
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