Every Tuesday, sales expert Andy Bounds shares his top tips to improve your sales and communications. This week’s is…
Why relationship-building might not be enough
Business is all about building relationships, right?
Well, no. Not according to extensive research by the Sales Executive Council. In Dixon and Adamson’s excellent book The Challenger Sale, they found that superstar salespeople tend to be challengers, not relationship-builders…
… In other words, the most successful persuaders are those who challenge people – help them see things differently, develop their thinking, etc – rather than those who spend all their time simply working on their relationships.
This is one of those things that can sound surprising when we first hear it, but we know to be true when we think about it. After all, we all know bosses who love certain team members, but won’t promote them; customers who will play golf with you every month, but won’t buy; employees who like their boss, but don’t respect their leadership, and so on.
Having said that, a bad relationship will usually ruin everything. Relationships are not irrelevant, but they are not everything.
The message is clear: to convince more people more often, our focus must be on helping them do what is best for them. This will often require us to challenge their thinking; but it could be the best thing we ever did for them.
Identify someone you want to positively influence. What value can you bring them – how can you challenge them – so they achieve more with you than they could ever have done without?
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