Two Approaches to Selling

I am currently listening to "Never Eat Alone" by Keith Ferrazzi in the car right now. It's made up of 10 CDs with a total of over 11 hours of audio on them. Lots of good information on it especially if you want to learn the basics as well as some secrets of networking and relationship building.

He was also talking about how relationship building makes sales easy. It reminded me of a good & bad sales experience I had when I was shopping for the car I currently drive. The dealership I bought my car from was very inviting, gave me all the facts I requested for, gave me the time and room needed to make my decision. I remember walking into the dealership, driving the car, collecting information, reviewing it and purchasing the car all within 45 minutes.

There was another dealership I had gone to before. I spent 45 minutes there as well. But the feeling I came out with was that of resentment. I will neither go to them again nor recommend that dealership to anybody.

The way I see it, there are two approaches to selling; a difficult approach and an easy approach. One approach will give you a one-time sale, the other approach will help you sell over and over. In one approach, you are trying to sell to people. In the other approach, people want to buy from you. In one approach you are spending money to make sales. In the other, you are spending money to acquire life-long customers. One approach drives away customers. The other approach is attracts customers.

Let's define the approaches a bit more clearly.

First approach is a hard-sell approach. The salesperson chases customers until they buy from him. Sometimes the customer buys only to get rid of the salesperson. In this approach the salesperson will often pressure the customer to make a quick decision. Why? They are afraid that if the customer takes too long, they might miss the sale. This approach is not about building customer relationships. A salesperson who uses this approach is focused on selling the product any way possible. Companies that use this approach spend a lot of time and money selling. The results unfortunately don't usually equate the investment.

The Second approach is relationship-based. You build relationships with your customers regardless of whether they buy from you now or not. People who use this approach work with the understanding that, "If I treat customers with courtesy and intelligence today, they will remember me the next time they want to buy what I sell." Relationship based approach generate lots of repeat sales and happy customers. Their results, many time surpass their investments by multiple folds.

There you go ... my two cents on selling. Hope you had fun reading!

Thank You,

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