When contemplating the benefits of relationship selling over transaction selling, it’s prudent to first ask yourself one question: `
Clearly you should be thinking long-term. Thinking short-term is to sell yourself short, unless your sole objective is to make a single sale. But as an author, your new book, and the excitement you build around it, is a momentum driver. You want to capitalize on that. The most effective way to do that is to take the opportunity to sell yourself first, your book second.
Relationship selling is rooted in the building of long-term relationships. Accordingly, getting to know your customers, their needs, and their wants is first and foremost in your mind and steers your approach. Then, and only then, should you even think about selling them what you have to offer.
In the business realm, organizations that encourage and adopt a relationship building approach to sales have a competitive edge over their rivals. The evidence is clear. Companies that practice relationship selling continually see substantial growth in revenue, year after year. Why is that? Because it is cheaper to keep an existing client than it is to establish new clients with each and every sale.
It has been widely estimated, with no shortage of backing evidence, that 80 percent of an organization’s business comes from 20 percent of its customers. Satisfied customers return time and time again. A large part of their satisfaction lies in their experience of dealing with a sales representative who takes the time to cultivate a relationship that is sincere as it is beneficial.
Antiquated methods of selling, such as manipulation and pressure tactics, have no place in today’s marketplace. Their time has come and gone. In a world spinning faster each day, clients, both of the potential and current variety, don’t have time for games and certainly won’t play them when they’re presented. Whatever you’re selling – be it yourself, a product, or a service – the focus of your attention is much savvier than he or she has ever been. Respect is demanded and rightly so.
Let’s look at a common scenario played out every day in sales environments around the globe.
Imagine for a moment your dishwasher gurgles one last time. Eager to replace it, you do what any savvy consumer does. You shop around for a deal, comparing prices in accordance with your budget. During that odyssey, you meet a number of salespeople, each armed with knowledge of their respective products. Each clearly very well-trained.
Now it’s decision time. You’ve narrowed your choice down to a particular brand of dishwasher. On reflection, you quickly realize there’s not too much difference between products in terms of price. Then you recall the one sales representative who didn’t create the impression that his/her sale commission took precedence over your satisfaction. You’re left with a no-brainer. Your mind is made up and the sale is made.
Equate that to the relationship between an author and a prospective book buyer or anyone whose buy-in can take them and their career to the next level. As a transaction seller, you sell a copy of your book with no expectation of benefitting long-term from that encounter. You’ve put a few dollars in your pocket; your customer got a copy of your book – end of story. While the sun will still rise the next day, what won’t emerge is any long-term benefit as a result of your encounter.
If that’s your goal, mission accomplished, but with a little effort, you can walk away with something much more valuable – a subsequent loyal and devoted follower of your work who will trip over their feet to again meet you and/or make sure their shelf is home to your next book. Remembering the experience as being pleasantly interactive, as being something much more than an abrupt you’ve-got-to-buy-this hard sell, they return for more.
It’s an ages-old adage but it holds true as it ever did – you get back what you give. Engage on some level at every opportunity and you’ll soon discover the emergence of new opportunities, increased sales and a greater sense of accomplishment.
That said, you’re no doubt asking yourself, how is it possible to establish a relationship with all you meet? Who has that kind of time?
Well, it’s not a question of time. If you’re practicing, on a consistent basis, some simple but all too often neglected engagement techniques, they’ll become automatic to the point you won’t even be aware of having made the adjustment. That is until you start seeing some familiar names pop up on your social media platforms and/or some familiar faces at your personal appearances.
MICHAEL AND BRENDA SANCHEZ: Build Relationships with Your Customers and Nothing but Good Things Will Come Your Way… and Theirs
Michael and Brenda Sanchez share a common belief – relationships are the building blocks of business. As such, the co-authors of Life’s Real Currency: Build Your Business on Relationships (A Foundation for Success) have made the building and nurturing of relationships their business.
The pair agrees that while the relationship marketing or selling approach has been with us a long time, it’s gaining traction anew. That said, the focus of many still remains on marketing and selling only, with lesser regard for the building of relationships that will enhance their marketing and selling success.
“Businesses spend large sums of money on newspaper print ads, flyers, newsletters, billboards, and television and radio spots or commercials trying to attract new customers with very little Return On Investment (ROI),” says Michael and Brenda.
“Mass marketing has its place but it’s not the end all and be all of an effective marketing strategy. This approach concentrates solely on attracting a potential customer you have no relationship with.”
Michael and Brenda point out that according to research and advisory group Gartner, 80 percent of profit comes from just 20 percent of existing customers.
“This shows most businesses have their focus in the wrong place. Businesses are better off spending their time and money on creating an effective way to retain their current customers with whom they have established relationships. The revenue sources that businesses are seeking are most likely sitting right under their noses already, waiting to be nurtured and cultivated.”
They add that while ROI is generally accepted as an acronym for Return On Investment, they see ROI as an acronym for Relationships Optimize Income. They stress that establishing and maintaining genuine relationships has been, and always will be, crucial to the success of any business. When customers believe they are valued, that creates loyalty on their part as well as an eager willingness to refer others to your business, which inevitably bring additional customers.
As successful business owners, they have studied the importance of understanding how relationships play a key role in the success of an individual’s personal and professional life. The result is they are very passionate about mentoring others on how to implement and practice the fundamentals, principles, philosophies and strategies that will create an environment that fosters success in a competitive marketplace.
To learn more about Michael and Brenda and their work, visit their website at https://lifesrealcurrency.com. In addition, you can connect with them on Facebook at and LinkedIn at or email email@example.com.
We applaud Michael and Brenda’s WINNING strategies!
BCB highly admire this inspiring couple!
KEVIN JUDGE: How LinkedIn Is Killing Your Business – An Excellent Lesson on Relationship Selling
Described as forward thinking, pragmatic and trustworthy, author, speaker and consultant Kevin Judge has made it his business to work with organizations to produce extraordinary results and transform seemingly improbable futures into realities.
His new book, How to Fix a Bad Boss: 8 Ways to End the Trail of Distress in the Workplace and Cultivate a Winning Manager-Employee Relationship, helps business leaders break free from the damage that ‘bad boss’ behaviour causes within their organizations, providing effective ways they can change their approach and re-engage employees, all while reviving their bottom line. To that end, Kevin works with clients to help them think and do business differently than others; to make them stand out with the end result being they will stand out from their peers, be more profitable, and gain the freedom to do more of what they are truly passionate about.
Kevin shares here How LinkedIn Is Killing Your Business – an excellent lesson that speaks to relationship selling.
“This morning, I opened LinkedIn to find a disheartening message from a new connection.”
‘We are US-based IT company and would like to share our experience in growing customer base. If you’re serious about scaling your business, you simply can’t ignore fundamentals such as social media activity, video marketing, SEO, review writing and mobile apps marketing. Interested? Just reply and we’ll get back to you.’
“Now I love connecting with people all around the world and, since becoming an author and speaker, the volume of requests has grown exponentially. That’s great. What’s bad is the number of people that ask to connect and then immediately follow up with a sales pitch. Yuck! Here’s my open letter to everyone selling on LinkedIn.”
I’m disappointed to see your first message to me was a sales pitch. I was hoping your request to connect was more about actually connecting and building a long-term business relationship where we can help each other.
If you went on a date with someone for the first time and they immediately asked you to marry them, what might your reaction be? Would you be likely to say yes? This approach is exactly what struggling sales and marketing people do. They go for the marriage at first sight; the instant sale, the one night stand…the kill.
“I’m guessing you would like better results when it comes to converting prospects to long-term clients and generating revenue.”
Kevin is passionate when it comes to helping others have greater success and, in fact, asks for nothing in return. He’s offering a FREE copy of his earlier co-authored book Multiply Your Coaching Business: 10 New Marketing Realities For The Coaching & Consulting Industries. It can be downloaded at http://lucrativecoaching.com/book.
Thank you for sharing your wise lesson, Kevin! Truly an igniting wisdom to all BCB authors and entrepreneurs!
As you continue your author journey, you’ll find your success is increasingly dependent on the building of relationships, whether those relationships are fostered in person or via social media.
Whatever the case, while you have a product to sell – specifically your book and your expertise as a credible expert on its subject matter – what you are ultimately selling is yourself. But it’s not as simple as hanging a ‘For Sale’ placard around your neck. You have to work at it constantly. You’re always on stage. There’s no intermission; there are no days off.
A huge component of selling yourself is clearly showing your genuine interest in the wants and needs, goals and aspirations, of those you encounter. By listening to others, really listening and not just hearing, you show that you value their interest in your book and your knowledge. That is noticed and more often than not leads to the establishment of a long-term relationship that is as fulfilling as it is beneficial to both parties.
Remember, for all the advances in sales and marketing techniques, there remains no substitute for the development and nurturing of relationships with both current and prospective customers. Be prepared to give at least as much as you take and practice that habitually.
Black Card Books remains at your side as you begin and/or continue your author journey, offering a series of exclusive programs which will not only enhance and build upon your networking skills but show you how to put those skills to work to your full advantage.
Our expert marketing team is fully equipped with a prestigious platform that will help you strengthen your customer base and potential clients plus develop a long-term successful relationship with them.
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