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Relationship selling

Why Relationship Selling isn’t What it’s Cracked Up to Be!

Before you roll your eyes and decide I’m crazy…keep reading this article on why relationship selling isn’t what it’s cracked up to be! 

Because of the work I’m doing with various sales teams and because of how I’ve experienced the 21st-century buyer, I’ve changed my position on relationship selling. After all relationship selling takes time…time the buyer doesn’t have “time” for!

Over the last 30 years, It’s been pound into our heads that relationship selling inspires trust and confidence in you, the salesperson and the product you’re selling. That’s all true but…the buyer may not be interested in building a relationship.

Let’s look at an example of a long sales cycle. For many years, I sold group benefits. Often,  I worked with many decision makers. It wasn’t always possible to form strong relationships with each decision maker. Some lower level decision makers had no interest in relationship building.

What about a product that has a shorter selling cycle?

For example, the home inspection industry. The initial sale is made when the appointment is booked. However, during the home inspection, the inspector may suggest added services such as a mold test or sewer scope.

The inspector has approximately 2-4 hours with the home buyer to form a relationship. How much of a relationship can you form in such a short time? And is that what the home buyer is seeking? I doubt it because chances are the home buyer will never see the home inspector again, unless down the road they buy another home and request the same home inspector.

Here’s my point…with all the available information on the internet, it’s changed the way buyers view buying.

Do they really want a relationship or do they want an expert?

I believe the buyer has shifted and is now seeking an expert. The buyer is more open to a business relationship after the sale occurs.

An expert can cut through the chase and give the buyer faster results by answering questions, and providing solutions to help the buyer make an informed decision.

I’ve said lots of times that friends and family usually don’t buy from salespeople in their own families because they see the salesperson as Uncle Bob instead of expert Bob in his field. Jesus even experienced this! In the gospel of Matthew 13:55, after teaching in the synagogue of his hometown Nazareth, people said:

“is he not the carpenter’s son?”… And they took offense at him.

Don’t misunderstand me..I’m not saying relationship building is not important.

What I am saying is the buyer views buying differently due to all the information they have at their fingertips from a little thing called the internet.

Now the buyer first seeks an expert than a relationship.

If your doctor refers you to a specialist are you first seeking a relationship with that specialist. Chances are no..you’re seeking his expertise that when he operates, you don’t die!

Now that is an extreme example.

However, consider your product.

Is your buyer wanting to play a round of golf before he decides to buy, or is he seeking the best solution in the quickest amount of time for a fair price?

You can invite the buyer to play golf after the deal is done!

When I posed the concept of “experts” in a workshop I did for Pillar to Post, the home inspectors recoiled over the idea. They didn’t see themselves as experts.

Yet..here’s the catch…Your buyer sees you as the expert!

If a client refers you to someone they know, they see you as the expert. They aren’t referring you so their colleague can have another relationship!

When you’re the buyer, don’t you want to talk to an expert?

Have you ever walked away from buying a product because the salesperson didn’t seem to know what he was talking about it?

I know I have. I’m not buying from someone who is not an expert in their field and you don’t either.

Relationship selling is about delivering value.
Expert selling is about helping the buyer buy by providing the best solution in the quickest amount of time for a fair price so he/she can make an informed decision.

Sales intelligence is knowing the right time to deliver both to the buyer and knowing which the buyer prefers first.

Sales Savvy Intelligence is how you will create a win/win in 2019!

If you want to learn how to sell with intelligence in the upcoming new year, why not schedule an introductory call with me and discover how coaching can help you accomplish more! Schedule by clicking here. You’ll never know what’s possible unless you do. Why not do it now!


Christine Harrington is the Savvy Sales Lady, helping sales teams and individuals win more sales through a unique way of selling called Peak Performance Mindset. Christine brings 40 years of selling experience with Fortune 500 Companies, to help you shorten the learning curve, move past your selling blocks and position yourself as a Peak Performer. Sales Leaders, Sales Managers, Sales Teams, Small Business owners and their employees have captured their edge by attending Christine’s Peak Performance Mindset Workshop and Coaching. Learn how she can help you or your team. Get the edge by clicking here

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