In every sales-oriented organization we need to find ways to help our technical and support resources recognize that they can be an integral part of the selling process and still be comfortable with their own style. They don’t have to be pushy; they don’t have to be bold; they don’t even have to ask for the order. In fact, I would argue that they (and we) would be far better off if they didn’t do these things and stopped feeling pressure to “sell.”
While at Accenture I recall being struck by how infrequently great consultants actually “sell” in the traditional sense of the word. Did you happen to notice that “close” or “sell” isn’t listed above? The reason: when done well, consulting doesn’t require a lot of pressure or slick sales-oriented tactics – because we build enough credibility and trust to make these techniques unnecessary.
This topic is all about helping sales (and non-sales) people to realize that winning new business is not about selling (or “telling”) more aggressively. It’s about changing the nature of the relationship between buyer and seller to one of collaboration.
It’s that time of year again. Sales leaders are starting to finalize their plans for the January 2012 kickoff events and most believe that a key element of each year’s festivities is a keynote speaker.
It seems unimaginable that a respectable resource like the Harvard Business Review could possibly argue that relationship selling is dead. After all, haven’t sales experts since the dawn of man told us that relationships are everything – i.e. people buy from people they like.