Think for a moment about your relationship with your prospects and customers. Do your customers think of you as a friend? Do you try to develop friendships with your new prospects? If so, you actually may not be positioning yourself for success in sales. People don’t buy from friends – they buy from people they trust to deliver. It’s fine to be friends with your customers; however, if you don’t – first and foremost – prove yourself as the most trustworthy and professional product or service provider, the sale will go to someone who does.
Put yourself in your buyer’s shoes. By agreeing to an efficiency project, you are putting your trust in the sales professional to deliver a quality product or service that will benefit your organization. You’ve received permission (and a big check) from your boss to make sure the project goes according to plan. You need to be certain that the person you endorse for the project is not going to let you down, get you fired, or cost you political capital within your organization. Do you hire the person who took you on a fishing trip, or do you hire the person who you know will get the job done without a hitch?
Don’t sell with friendship. Use rapport to establish trust and confidence, and knock the ball out of the park with a stellar pitch and proposal.
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