How to Turn a Relationship Into a Sale
Many years ago I traveled to New Zealand to call on Just Jeans. I had met the CFO when I spoke at a conference, they had a need for our consulting services and I went confident of closing a deal with them. As I thought I should I first built on the friendly rapport we had struck at the conference. After an hour of conversation, the CFO said “well it’s been nice talking to you, I have another appointment”. I never did get the account.
In this account from the Harvard Business Review, a study of 16 Global Account Teams (PDF link included) showed that these strategic, relationship-focused teams grew their accounts at least twice as fast as regular transactionally-focused account teams.
The hard part for salespeople is often how to generate new transactions from established relationships. How do you keep from having a pleasant hour long conversation that doesn’t move business along for either party?
One suggestion the author makes is to go into each meeting with a list of five ways to make the person you’re meeting successful.
Read the entire article here to see how the author suggests delivering five packets of generosity.