Sales: a question of relationships
What are Customers like nowadays? Difficult – both to understand and to “pin down”. Fickle, fluid, grasshopper-minded. With a cussedly singular profile of needs, desires and means. They inhabit complex, challenging stories. For salespeople, it is increasingly difficult to find a way in. After all, what resources can they use? Or, to ask a better question, who do they want to be?
Indeed, selling can be a goal to train for, to develop a technique for. Or it can be the space (and time) for a relationship.
Selling is, above all, a dialogue of questions and answers that aim to reflect on and understand, together with the Customer, what they really need – not just what they say they need. It is about uncovering the needs that remain unseen, even to the Customer themselves.
The sales relationship, then, can become a dialogue with facts, reasons and emotions, where sellers need to learn how to argue a case and not just present a catalogue.
And the Customer can begin to see the product or service presented to them as an opportunity – a strategic, not just a tactical, benefit.
If selling happens in a relationship between people, it turns into a story, albeit a short one, and its various moments cannot be viewed in isolation.
The scene has two characters, not just the seller.
Watch the bite-sized video on creative selling:
Welcoming (or approaching) a prospect, exploring their needs, making a case and managing objections cannot just be sections in a manual to read or learn by heart. Each step must be personalised to the particular Customer and situation.
Indeed, the seller must always be observing and listening for any clue that might enable them to create value in the sales relationship, by making the Customer feel at ease and guiding them on a transparent and professional journey to their decision.
All this, fortunately, is selling.