“A sale is not something you pursue, it’s what happens to you when you are immersed in serving your customer.”
This past week I’ve had a blast working with a coaching client who really gets it when it comes to the relationship-building aspect of sales. As a recruiter who has hired a lot of salespeople over the years, I’ve also come to notice how obvious it is during the interview process if someone has the ability to build relationships or if they are only about the money. There’s a certain way people operate that is something I can only explain as a “gut check”, where I just know deep down if I trust them, and if they’re going to look out for others, or if they’re all about themselves. Am I able to truly interact with them and get to know who they are and what drives them, or is it obvious they’re just waiting to talk and, yes, sell me something so they can get onto the next deal?
As I begin this project of examining different career paths and then eventually deep-diving into them on this blog, I found this great infographic (below) about the vital aspect of relationship building in today’s sales climate. More and more companies are realizing that they can’t just have old school sales and marketing teams. They need the kind of professionals who get that the Customer Experience is enhanced by those who have been out there building, nurturing and growing relationships, and with that, the business grows both financially and culturally. To be an employer of choice AND a product/service of choice? That takes people who get it.
Whether you are working on a retail sales floor, doing inside sales from an office, or out in the field making it happen, those connections are incredibly essential to your success. I think of the people I know in sales who have made me feel valued, and how I have shared my experiences with others so that they may prosper, and I know that as both a recruiter and a career coach, the relationships I build are why I’m successful. If I called it in, I’d be miserable and my clients would be looking elsewhere.
Here’s a bit more on the evolution of relationship building in the sales world (and sales folks, your thoughts and stories from the field are welcome!)…