Dale Carnegie's book "How to Win Friends and Influence People" was published in 1936, and is one of the best-selling self-help books of all time with an estimated 15 million copies sold. Some have called it the handbook for building sales relationships for its insights into human nature.
The principles espoused by Carnegie continue to be valid almost a century later. Why? Because human nature doesn't change. Each of us wants to feel important and special, and we are naturally drawn to those who make us feel better about ourselves - they are the kind of people we want to be like and be around.
Carnegie, recognizing the impossibility of trying to convince a stranger to buy something he or she neither wants nor needs, stated, "There is only one way under high heaven to get anybody to do anything. Did you ever stop to think of that? Yes, just one way. And that is by making the other person want to do it. The only way I can get you to do anything is by giving you what you want."
Creating and delivering value to your prospects and customers is what relationship selling is about. It requires mutual trust between the parties - the purchaser believing that the sales professional is telling the truth and proposing a product or service of genuine value to the buyer; the seller believing that the purchaser will ultimately reward him for his honesty, diligence, and work on the purchaser's behalf.
Five Requirements for Effective Relationship Selling:
- You must care about your customer's problems. When you demonstrate to them how your product or service will solve those problems, you are helping them, not selling to them.
- You must believe in your product or service. You want your customers to trust you, so that means you should be honest with them.
- You must be patient. Relationships take time to grow, and can't be rushed. You will make sales by building relationships, but you won't get it tomorrow.
- You need to have a plan. Building the right relationships won't happen by accident.
- You must build relationships with a number of different people at various levels within your prospective accounts with multiple touch points.
Effective social selling can help to build relationships and pipelines.Read more about social selling here.
Building relationships and creating value are mutually reinforcing activities that will lead to sales success. Practicing relationship selling will produce higher quality sales, allow you to work with people to create common ground, increase your earnings, and earn greater respect and recognition as a professional salesperson. Want to know more?