There seems to be a lot of polarization going on about this whole idea of relationship building in sales. One side of the camp is saying, "Relationship building has nothing to do with sales," and the other side of the camp saying, "Well, of course relationship building has everything to do with sales."
So what's really going on?
The first thing we need to do is define what we mean by relationship building and sales. I don't mean the kind of relationship building like I have with my kids or my husband, or even making friends for that matter. But the business relationships that I have, and the personal relationships that I have (and that you have!), have some things in common, such as building trust and credibility, which only happens when someone actually trusts and respects.
So I would challenge those that are saying that it's not about relationship building to think maybe it's not exactly relationships in terms of our personal relationships. And those that are saying it's all about relationships to remember that there are things that sales people do that cause mistrust, which is absolutely oppositional to relationship building.
What are some of the things that you can do to build trust?
This was something I've been doing a lot of digging and researching on, and I have two recommendations for you.
First is, pick up Deb Calvert's book Stop Selling And Start Leading, co-written with Barry Posner and James Kouzes. They did some excellent research into what are some of the specific behaviors that sales people do that cause people to mistrust them. And it talks about some of the ways and techniques that you can use to be more of a leader with your sales people and with your buyers.
The other book that I would recommend that you pick up is The Code Of Trust by Robin Dreeke. I love this book because one of the themes that I saw both in this one and in Deb Calvert's book was this idea of, "It's not about me."
"It's not about me."
It's not about you, it's not about your product, it's not about your service, it has to be all about them, and that was like the first steps to relationship building and building trust. You also have to look at, how are your goals and that person's goals aligning? And the only way you can find out what that is if you ask about what their goals are. And why those goals are important to them. It also talks about understanding other peoples' communication style and adapting to their style so that you can actually get through to them.
There's a whole lot more packed into both of those books, and there's some recommendations too where you can actually start to build those relationships even better. So, take a look at those two books, and check out the recap videos from past Live Sales Labs!