Make A Friend Before You Make A Sale

My cousin’s husband is a successful career salesman. He describes his work this way. “I just focus on making a friend before I even think about making a sale.”

I think he’s on to something, don’t you?

When I am asked for some sure-fire tips to help sales reps close more deals, I know one thing: they are focusing on the wrong thing.

They should be asking for tips on how to open more opportunities.

This is a perfect example of getting the cart before the horse, a phrase that the Greeks called Hysteron Proteron or latter before.

For example, putting on your shoes and then your socks. It’s doing it backwards. If you’re focused only on the closing, the prospect will be too. Except their focus will be on resisting the close because they’re not ready for that step yet.

Axiom: Before you can close, you have to open the relationship.

If you can open the relationship, you might close the deal. If you can’t open a relationship, you’ll never close the deal.

In the early days of door-to-door selling there was a common slogan to remind the reps of the proper order to things. “If you can’t open the door, you won’t close the deal.”

They knew that in every sale, the people always come first. When this natural order of events was reversed, you created unnecessary problems that could squelch any deal.

You have to open a friendly relationship with someone before you can hope to ever close the deal.  But when the opening steps in the relationship have been skipped or only partially done, you always run into increased resistance in the closing steps.

Perhaps the ever-increasing economic pressure to close more deals in less time makes the mistake forgivable . . . once, but only once.

When you’re dealing with people, you can never predict with 100% accuracy exactly what they will do. But inverting the natural order of actions or ideas will inevitably lead to frustration for both you and the prospect.

When you try to close the deal before the relationship is open, your tendency is to resort to “force selling” (bullying the client to buy), which always comes back to bite you.  At least when you follow the natural order of events you’ve increased your chances of making the sale.

So do it the easy way. Make a friend before you make a sale. 

Your prospect will be happier with the process, and so will you.

It’s always good to keep the customer satisfied.

daniel w. jacobs
© 2010-2030, all rights reserved


One Response to “Make A Friend Before You Make A Sale”

  1. Brilliant! It’s that simple!

    New friend=Sale


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