Another Opening, Another Show—it’s another way to approach your sales call. Each sales conversation presents another opportunity to capture interest, to learn more about your customer, to communicate your marketing message, handle objections, and gain commitment. And then the cycle begins again with your next call.
H Ross Perot is credited with saying, “business is a cobweb of human relationships.” Despite the prevalence of social media including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to connect us, people seem more confused than ever about how to form relationships. Regardless of how much we may want to be connected online, we still need that human interaction in person to fulfill our needs as individuals.
Paraphrasing from Dale Carnegie, dealing with people is likely the biggest and most common problem you face in business. This is especially true for sales people for to be able to sell, to influence people, you need to be able connect with them. And what better way to connect with them than to develop a meaningful business relationship?
After the holidays have ended, I tend to get nostalgic and think of other Christmases and times with family. Recently I came across a picture of my son Ryan when he was 4 years old, sitting on Santa’s lap. It brought memories back to how that happened… I recall I was eating lunch when I got a phone call from my financial planner, John. He asked if my son had had his picture taken with Santa Claus yet. He then suggested that I ta...
We often talk about how important relationships are in business, especially in sales, but how do we know if the relationships we have with our customers and colleagues are truly substantive ones? It seems that many, including sales people, often confuse being friendly with someone as being the same as having a business relationship. Though friendships may develop, at times they can be considered obstacles to doing business. I’ve heard reps say, “I don’t want to ruin my relationship with …by asking for more business.” This confuses me…because sales people are paid to sell, not to develop friendships.
It’s been said that business success is 75% people skills and 25% technical skills. Nowhere is this more evident than in sales. However, few if any sales reps receive training on how to build business relationships with those people with whom they do not naturally connect. If people skills are so important, why aren’t more companies providing this kind of critical training for their sales reps when we know we don’t naturally connect with but 25% of the people we meet?
In his blog “Mark Twain was Right—Numbers Lie”, Paul McCord talks about how all the numbers and statistics don’t necessarily mean anything when applied to humans. He described how the NFL tries to quantify the potential draftees by assigning numbers to them that reflect their skills, physical abilities, intelligence—all used to provide guidance as to their predicted success as future football players. And of course, the numbers lie. Those that you expect to be great—based on all of those qualities that were defined and captured often are not. And those unknowns—well, they surprise you.
As I was flying home from Philadelphia last week, I got into an interesting conversation while waiting for my plane. Joe, a business manager, was talking about a quote he read recently that 70% of business managers are incompetent! And the experts who derived this statistic were industrial psychologists— the group of psychologists that specializes in business. We got into a great discussion about managers we knew who were competent and those who weren’t. It made me think of how knowing what to do (and to make things better) and applying that knowledge is not enough.
You would have to be a hermit not to see the sea changes in the Pharmaceutical Industry and in many industries today. The pure economics of our times dictate that we revisit almost each aspect of our business in an effort to survive and thrive in a new and more challenging business environment. Take the traditional sales approach most companies employ. Share of voice was the old Pharma refrain. Now the new mantra is share of mind, which is a definite improvement. But why are we still not giving “relationships” the level of importance they deserve?