Now that you have read this chapter, you should be able to understand the importance of relationships in selling and how to develop effective relationships.
- You can understand why building relationships is important to selling.
- You can describe how consultative selling works.
- You can identify ways to develop long-term, effective relationships.
- You can understand how to build trust in a relationship.
- You can list the ways to network to build relationships.
- You can recognize how to use adaptive selling.
- You can understand how to integrate networking into your job search.
Test Your Power Knowledge (answers are below)
- Describe consultative selling and why it is different from transactional selling.
- Describe lifetime value and why it is important in consultative selling.
- Explain how to communicate bad news to a customer.
- Who wins in the win-win-win relationship?
- What is networking, and why is it important in selling?
- Describe adaptive selling and why it is important.
- If your customer is a driver, what is the best way to adapt your selling style?
- Name at least three ways you can use networking to get the job you want.
Power (Role) Play
Now it’s time to put what you’ve learned into practice. The following are two roles that are involved in the same selling situation; one role is that of an interviewer and the other is that of the aspiring salesperson. This will give you the opportunity to think about this networking situation from the perspective of both the networker and the person with whom he is networking.
Read each role carefully along with the discussion questions. Then, be prepared to play either of the roles in class using the concepts covered in this chapter. You may be asked to discuss the roles and do a role-play in groups or individually.
Networking That Works
Role: Pharmaceutical sales manager
You are a sales manager at a major pharmaceutical company. You are always looking for extraordinary people—the ones who really stand out. You judge people by your first impression of them. Even if you are not hiring, you usually take the time to meet with people who impress you, or at the very least, you refer her to someone you think may be hiring. If you are not impressed, you are courteous to the person, but leave it at that.
- What would impress you if a potential candidate called to network with you?
- What information would you expect him to know about you?
- How would you respond to the networking phone call?
Role: College student
You are you. You are looking for a job in pharmaceutical sales, and you are networking to find any job opportunities in that area. You have been given the name and phone number of a sales manager at a major pharmaceutical company. You are not sure if the company is hiring right now, but the sales manager is well connected in the industry so he is a good person with whom to build a relationship and put your networking skills to work. You don’t know much about him, but you learned on his LinkedIn profile that he went to the University of Florida and also volunteers for The Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
- What other research would you do before you called the sales manager?
- What is your objective for calling the sales manager?
- Assume you are calling the sales manager to network. How would you start the conversation?
- How would you wrap up the conversation?
- What would you do after the conversation?
Put Your Power to Work: Selling U Activities
- Identify at least one professional organization on campus and one organization off campus that you can join to enhance your networking opportunities. Go to the campus student services office or career center. Also, talk to a professor and a librarian to conduct your research to identify the organizations.
- Contact at least five people a week on your networking list. Ask for the names of additional people to contact and to build your network.
- Set up a profile on LinkedIn (if you haven’t already done so). Connect to at least fifteen people to start (use your networking list to build your LinkedIn connections). Ask for at least three introductions a week from people in your network. Contact each one personally and share what type of career you would like to pursue. Ask each one for additional names of people you can network with.
- Using LinkedIn, ask at least three professional people to recommend you. Consider people such as previous supervisors, professors, and internship coordinators.
- Create an account on Twitter. Follow at least twenty professional people in the industry in which you would like to get a job.
Test Your Power Knowledge Answers
- Consultative selling occurs when you develop a one-to-one relationship with your customer and truly understand his needs, wants, and resources; it means putting the customer first. Consultative selling helps you develop short-term and long-term solutions for your customer. Transactional selling focuses on a single transaction with no input from or relationship with the customer.
- Lifetime value means that you consider not just one transaction with a customer but also the help and insight you can provide throughout the entire period that you do business with him. A customer that has only limited needs right now may develop into a lucrative customer over the course of time based on your advice and guidance.
- It’s best to deliver bad news in person or over the phone when time permits. This tells your customer that you think this is important. You should always communicate in an open, honest, and timely manner and provide a realistic solution to the problem. If you don’t have a solution, let the customer know when you will get back to her with an update.
- The customer, you, and your company all win in a win-win-win relationship.
- Networking is the art of building alliances or mutually beneficial relationships. Networking is built on the concept of exchange. In selling, you can expand the number of people you know, which can expand your business. When what you need provides value to someone else in your network, networking works. The more you provide value to other people, the higher the likelihood that they will go out of their way to help you.
- Adaptive selling occurs when a salesperson adapts and customizes her selling style based on the behavior of the customer. If you adapt to the customer’s social style, you can increase the chances that he will be open to hearing your message.
- Be professional; focus on facts and timelines that will allow your customer to see how quickly she can achieve her goal. Provide options that allow her to be in control.
- Create a networking list, join professional organizations, use online professional social networks, publicize your profile, ask for recommendations, join groups, create content, and follow up.