The MHEDA Journal - Third Quarter, 2014 - (Page 66)
PROFESSIONAL REL ATIONSHIPS
BY GARY MOORE
hen I entered industrial sales from an engineering background, I assumed if I just showed the
customer the features, advantages and benefits
of my product, they would get the point and buy
from me with maybe just a little price negotiation. Even before
Excel, I thought it was all about the spread sheet.
When I heard veteran salespeople
talk about relationships with customers, I assumed this was some sort of
exceptional golf course buddy-buddy
friendship that could be overcome
with, well, a better spread sheet, more
features and a good price!
As a sales veteran, I now understand
the critical importance of what I call
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with customer decision influencers.
"Personal," because, by their very
nature, all relationships between individuals are personal. "Professional,"
because relationships with most customers are different from friendships.
They are personal relationships on
a professional level. These relationships are based on mutual respect:
respect for the responsibilities of both
salesperson and customer; respect for
each other's time; respect for ethics;
respect for the interests and style of
each (particularly the customer); and
respect for the importance of clear
benefits of these relationships for both
persons and their companies.
In this article I'll explore the benefits
of these relationships to both seller
and customer; how a salesperson can
build and maintain these relationships
with customer decision influencers;
some key factors in these relationships
including how they often trump business advantages, and how they differ
Benefits to Salespeople
relationships with customer decision
influencers takes time and energy.
Strong personal/professional relationships give salespeople:
* ccess to opportunities, facilities,
other decision influencers, information ("Gary, here's our next project.
Let me show you our storage area.
I'll introduce you to my boss. Here's
our list of key parameters, etc.")
* econd chances ("Bill, your proS
posal is out of line with what we're
looking for and with what others
have submitted. Can you resubmit
* oaching ("Amy, your presentation
did not address our Safety Manager's
concerns. I recommend you go see
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The MHEDA Journal - Third Quarter, 2014
From the Desk of Liz Richards
Ask Your Board
A Seat at the Table
Women in Business Trends
MHEDA at 60
A Powerful Marketing Advantage
MHEDA University Calendar
Best of the Best
An Untapped Resource
16 Tools to Build Your Service Labor Business
Personal/professional Relationships With Customers
Calling All Emerging Leaders
Design of the Mheda Disc Report
Convention 2014 Recap
Spotlight on Association News
Index of Advertisers by Product Category
The MHEDA Journal - Third Quarter, 2014