Has it ever occurred to you that the word “sales” turns a lot of people off? What is it about that word that rubs people the wrong way? I mean, don’t we all have something to sell and aren’t we all eager to make a profit for our company? Sure, all of these things are true..but what really makes the word “sales” carry a negative connotation is the experience one might have with a salesperson. Love it or leave it…if you have a bad experience with a salesperson, you likely won’t take much time with another one. So, how do we as individuals in “sales” roles tackle this dilemma? I firmly believe the power is rooted in relationships – not just the “hello, how are you?” relationships, but the intentional ones.
So, what is an intentional relationship one might ask? I think it’s quite simple; get to know your prospect, client, etc and when I say get to know them, I mean REALLY get to know them. Where are they from? What is their family like? You see, this is where I think salespeople get it all wrong. We always have the deal in mind, yet we forget that there is a person involved in that deal. What if we took a step back and thought about actually developing a friendship, a relationship with that human and see where things go from there? I know, I know, there are some hard-asses out there that will tell this school of thought to go jump off a cliff because they have quotas, etc, etc. However, I think they are the ones that are ultimately doing more harm than good to their accounts.
Here’s where I disagree with the old school of thought: sales is not a machine, it’s actually more like a human heart. It pumps regularly, and it speeds up and it slows down but it also generates feelings. I’m not encouraging a “feel-good” mentality for sales, rather an approach that is purely intentional. When I meet with a client, I take time to get to know them, get to know their tastes, their personality, their family, etc. At the end of the day, this proves better results and drives them to generate the conversation again and again.
Call me progressive, call me lazy…but I think we’ve lost touch with the human connections in this world and I think its time we revitalize our sales approach to align with what our culture is starving for…care for humankind.