Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Build your story, build customer relationships

You want to build relationships your competitors can't steal. If you're in business to business sales, you know that organizations don't buy from other organizations; people in organizations buy from people in other organizations.

"In order to build relationships, you need to let the other person know something about you," says sales expert Chris Lytle. "Self-disclosure is the act of revealing yourself to the other person. And while you don't want to reveal everything, you do want your prospect to understand something about your expertise, background, and motivation."

"Start with why you are doing this besides the money," suggests Lytle. "Another thing to disclose is why you chose this particular industry. Was it because of, or in spite of, your college degree? Have you had a lifelong interest in this or did you recently discover it? What customers have you helped? What problems have you solved? Of all the companies you could have chosen to work for, why did you choose this particular company? What is it about the company or the product that keeps you excited?"

That's probably more than enough to get you started on your story. The challenge, says Lytle, is keeping it brief and compelling. But the reward is great. "When the people on the other side of the desk understand more about your experience and your motivation for doing the job, they feel more comfortable discussing their real concerns," says Lytle. "After all, there's a real person across the desk from them. Not just another salesperson."

Tell us your story. How are you using it to build relationships with customers?

Chris Lytle, CSP, time releases immediately applicable sales advice via the MAX-ATM Automatic Training Machine website. Check it out at www.max-atm.com
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