Business Beyond Relationships
There was a time when our success in business depended on the relationships we made and how we nurtured those relationships. I am sure you would be familiar with the quote, “It is not what you know, it is who you know.”
Well, not anymore.
Times have changed and relationship building is no longer enough to get and stay ahead. The mantra now is, “It is what you know and how you use it to challenge and deliver value to your client.”
That does not mean you can be obnoxious and still expect to make that sale. You do need to get your foot in the door first and this is where good relationships plays a big part. But people will only make a purchase from those whom they perceive will provide the most value to them.
The Corporate Executive Board, a global publicly traded, best practice insight and technology company, conducted extensive research on the buying habits of 90 different companies and 900 participants*
The findings were as follows:
1. Customers buy from companies that provide the most value, not from the salespeople with whom they like and have the best relationship
2. The sales representatives who deliver a consistently high performance are those who challenge their clients’ perspective
3. Customers place the highest value on salespeople who push them to think differently, who bring new ideas to the table and who find creative and innovative ways to boost their business
4. Employees who challenge the status quo and offer real solutions are those who are respected most by senior management and CEOs of their own companies
With that in mind, here are my three steps to taking your business beyond relationships:
Find a unique perspective of your client’s business and communicate that with passion and confidence. As a business mentor, I find out what my therapist clients are currently doing to bring in new clients and I explain why their strategies are not effective.
Most of them tend to advertise their services in an industry magazine. The readers of this magazine are existing clients, other therapists or people who have already committed to the services of a different therapist. In other words, their real target market is not reading this magazine and is still shopping around.
I tell my therapist clients that they need to speak to their target market by finding out where their target market “hangs out”. Perhaps they need to step away from the traditional form of print advertising and establish a presence in online forums or on social media.
Here, I challenged the way my clients were thinking and added value to their understanding of how to build their business
Make sure you structure the conversation to the client’s needs and highest values. Many of my business clients value their ability to help people above all else, so there is no point selling my services by illustrating how much money they will make.
On the other hand, if I explain that by having a successful business they can help more people then I am immediately connecting to their values and heartstrings.
Control the direction of your conversation ensuring that you are assertive in expressing your value and pricing. If the client raises an objection about price, do not accept that as being the real objection. Understand what lies behind the “no” so you are clearer about what you need to do to get to “yes”.
A client may object to the price as that is the easiest objection to raise but in fact the underlying reason maybe that you have not articulated the real value or even your credibility as the person delivering the service.
Often times, the real objection does not surface at the start and will only make itself known when you take control of the conversation through further questioning. Once you uncover the real reason for the objection, then you can address it.
*The Challenger Sale, Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson
Helen Mitas is one of Australia’s leading mindset experts and a respected clinical hypnotherapist. Some of her greatest achievements are helping sales professionals move from a burnt out stage to make greater contributions at work, relish their interactions with clients, and lead enriched lives. Contact Helen at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how she can help your sales teams attain legendary results.
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