Build Business Based on Connections Not Concepts
Selling is a necessary component of any business venture. Not just in a transaction event, but in communicating what your organization and people are about.
Many sales tactics have been espoused over the years, and some of them carry a common theme:
- “Sell them the concept”
- “Show them your excitement and passion”
- “Don’t let them worry about details, sell the vision”
- “Get them to dream and see BIG”
While it is true that a necessary component of good selling is showing a business partner or client the big picture of what you can do for them, any solid and lasting business relationship needs a more solid and authentic foundation.
True business is establishing rock solid connections, not being smooth with a crafty pitch just to gain advantage.
Undoubtedly we have all had a sales exchange in which we walked away and (either immediately or shortly afterwards) realized that we were oversold. The feelings we go through during that revelation may vary but inevitably come back to distrust and an unwillingness to pursue another transaction, and thus an ongoing relationship, with that individual or company.
What we do in reaction to these instances is to find another place which offers a similar service or product but more importantly has at least a person who was willing to be honest, of service, and view the interaction as an ongoing relationship by truly focusing on others rather than focusing on the medium of the big picture.
We all have big pictures to sell in our organizations. Every day, we must promote the values of our company, the mission of our purpose, and the goals that are laid out. Without such noble causes the can be no progress. However the big picture is only the chassis of the vehicle to have lasting and meaningful success. Solid relationship building and meaningful connections with your team, your clients, and your colleagues are the engine that will power your company towards sustainable achievement.
Think for a moment of that used car salesperson that oversold you. Whether doing a bait-and-switch, over-promising their follow-through, or lying about the car, you will never go back to that company or at least that salesperson. Over time their organization loses customers and becomes a hollow shell, possibly resulting in even more shrewd tactics in desperation to make any sale. They have moved from a “business is people“ model and moved to a “sell at all costs” mode.
Now consider companies you’ve done business with for years. It may be a plumber, supermarket chain, a hair stylist, or an insurance company. You frequent there because of the relationship and connection that have been made to you, making you feel valued and important. It may not even be because you know an individual there; I frequent some big box stores because I know the consistent level of service I receive and how committed those people are to helping customers such as myself.
Whether these relationships are individual or collective across your company, it’s a matter of doing business with people, by people, and for people. Vehicles and business models vary from company to company, but people are always the constant in every interaction.
The growing customer experience economy is viable only because organizations realize that people connections are what truly sells.