Those with the “In” win. Everyone should agree that having high-level relationships is a significant advantage for making sales. So how much time are you devoting to your existing clients to develop more high level relationships?
Now think about prospect accounts. Are you and your team getting to the ultimate decision makers or are you getting stuck with you main contact?
The magic pill for building a network of high-level relationships is to admit that you have to relationship-sell high-level people. If you do, then you’ll start focusing on the top people -- the profit center leaders and their direct reports and you’ll figure out how to get to them. The trick to getting to them is to relationship- sell your main contact and then use that good-working relationship to network you to the leaders. Most people get tight with the main contact, but never use that relationship to springboard to the next level. This is known as wasting a good relationship.
It’s great if you can do this before your first sale, but sometimes you’ll just have too much resistance. But you should always be trying to get higher. Now after the sale, you’ll have easy access if you say you want to meet with these leaders so as to understand their expectations and not disappoint them. It works like a charm.
However getting to someone and chatting doesn’t mean you have a relationship. Just knowing someone doesn’t mean you have an “in.” A professional relationship will be established when your contact feels she or he is personally benefiting, as it relates to their job, from what you’re doing. Think about that statement. Lunches, dinners, golf, ball games, gift baskets, etc. don’t help a person with their job. Helping increase revenues, beat competition, reduce costs, shorten time to market, etc. are services you provide that help leaders and subordinates with their jobs. These are called professional wins and without them there is no “in.”
Once a top person gets his professional wins from you, he is ripe for giving referrals, giving information about upcoming opportunities and introducing you to other hard-to-see leaders. But you have to ask. If you don’t, he won’t. And if you feel he should without you asking, you’ll be disappointed 90% or the time. See having an ” in” is good only if you use it. And what’s really interesting is the more you ask for, the more you’ll get.
However, to keep this well of wealth flowing, you’ll have to keep providing professional wins. Once you stop, he’ll stop. Wins are what executives and anybody wants. Unlike social relationships, professional relationships are based on delivering business results and these bonds are far stronger than any friendship -- when it comes to business. In other words, no business wins, no “in.”
So skip the entertainment and focus on discussing with him what he wants from you professionally. If you think you already know and decide to skip the asking, you’ll miss making the connection. Then deliver it for the win and the “in.” That's relationship selling and the path to first and follow-on sales.
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C-Level Relationship Selling Link Sam Manfer makes it easy for any sales person to be effective and feel comfortable connecting with and relationship selling C-Level leaders.
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