Systematically pursues partnerships with high-potential customers
A best practice for sales people by Dave Kahle, author and leading sales educator.
Suppose you viewed your job a little differently than the typical salesperson. Instead of “selling stuff” being the primary focus of your job, you, instead, saw your job as building relationships with individuals and companies such that they moved ever closer to you, and as a result, purchased more and more from your company.
Your focus, then, would not be on short term transactions, but rather on longer term progress in the relationship. As you thought more deeply about this, you’d arrive at the conclusion that there would be stages of the relationship. For example, we could label the earliest and least intense relationship a Prospect – someone who has never bought from you. A Customer would be someone who spent money with you at some time. A Client would be a regular customer who could be counted on to buy on a regular basis.
But Partner would be the word we would use to designate the ultimate state of commitment. A partner would be someone who is totally committed to the relationship with you and your company. Not only would they communicate more deeply with you, trust you more solidly, but they would be committed to your success and, as a result, would buy almost everything they could from you.
The relationship would be collaborative, not adversarial. They would come to rely on you and your company to such an extent that they see you as being intimately connected with them, and they don’t want to think about going forward without a relationship with you.
Imagine how much less stress that relationship would be. They would actually like you, and enjoy doing business with you and your company!
Not only that, but this is where you would make most of your money, because they would buy almost everything from you.
Life would be so much easier.
Now, imagine that you could count a handful of partners among your accounts. As a result, you may double or triple your business, your life would be much less stressful, and you would feel more fulfilled as your wisdom and expertise would be recognized and valued by your partners.
Having a handful of partners would be the definition of success for a salesperson.
The best salespeople understand that, and they focus on that end. They understand that the development of a partner is the result of the interplay between the customer’s preferences, culture and characteristics with the intentional action of the salesperson. Where the salesperson consistently does the right things with the right people, the eventual result is the development of a partner.
Thus, the master salesperson thoughtfully selects the highest potential prospects and customers, and focuses every month on those actions which would move the customer ever closer in the relationship with him.
It’s a best practice of the best.
About the Author:
Dave Kahle is one of the world’s leading sales authorities. He’s written ten books, presented in 47 states and nine countries, and has helped enrich tens of thousands of sales people and transform hundreds of sales organizations. Sign up for his free weekly Ezine. His most recent book, How to Sell Anything to Anyone Anytime, has been named one of the “five best business books” by three international entities.
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