Relationship selling is all about building a relationship with your prospects and listening to their needs and wants, because you are not really there to sell at all, you are there simply as a “customer advisor.”
A salesman will sell snow to the Eskimos … an advisor who practises Relationship Selling will carefully match the prospects needs to the products they are selling, and if they can’t meet their needs they would refer them to someone who can.
Once you’ve built that relationship, shown you care, and earned their trust, you are on the road to making them a customer for many years to come. With a relationship in place, working out the details of a sale is easy and the price is simply a formality. With Relationship Selling, you don’t ever have to go into sales mode!
You are there to help the customer make the right choice, to help the customer purchase what they need to solve their problems.
One of the key advantages to relationship selling, apart from it simply being the right thing to do, is that your customers (that you have worked so hard to attract in the first place) are much less likely to be swayed by offers from other companies in future. They will trust you more, and they would not want to jeopardize your relationship by looking elsewhere for better deals. Your job is to lead your customers / prospects to a situation where they choose your products or services based on their own judgement.
If you are new to business why not build a checklist of questions that is suitable to be asked? Alternatively, even if you have been in business for a while, a check list will still ensure that you keep the sale on track and ask all the necessary questions to ensure that you cover everything you need to cover, so that you can give the customer a full and accurate solution to their problems.
Which is exactly what modern selling is all about.
When you go out on sales calls or quotations, it is simply a time for you to ask questions to ensure that your services are a good match for the customers’ requirements. Ask questions to gather information which you can then use to position your services more effectively.
Ask the right questions to find out about exact requirements and clarify what you think you have heard, even if you think you know the answer already! Too many salespeople assume that they fully understand their prospects’ problems before they have even met them.
Questions make selling easy, and often the customer will walk themselves through the sales process, so resist the temptation to assume anything!
Read the following extract from our book “Copy Writing For Profit” which has been created to help entrepreneurs like you sell more with the written word.
“Most sales letters go straight to the bin because they don’t address the needs of the consumers, and they don’t do it quickly enough. Too many letters waste valuable paper space trying to look good or look fancy with loads of fonts making them extremely difficult to read, when what they should be doing is exactly the opposite!
Still more sales letters contain pages and pages of fluff telling the prospect about the business itself, telling the prospect when they were established etc instead of focusing on meeting the needs of the customer. I guarantee you the customer really doesn’t give 2 hoots about your company and history! Your sales letter is there for one purpose, and one purpose only; to get your target prospects to do something that you want them to do.
To achieve that aim, you have to overcome many hurdles:
- you have to convince the prospect that you are the company to trust
- you have to convince the prospect that you are qualified to carry out the work
- you have to overcome their natural resistance towards any sales message
- you have to assure prospects that your product is exactly right for them
- you have to reassure people that you offer a low / no risk proposition.
Do you know how you can position your company differently, not just in sales letters, but so the differences shine through your whole organization? When you write about your company, will people just see more “blah blah blah” or will they sit up and take notice because you are offering something truly brilliant?
How will you solve your customers’ problems? Why should they choose you?