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Relationship Selling Is Dead (Redux)

Some people (mistakenly) believe that relationship selling is dead. Some (mistakenly) believe that the only thing that matters is price.

Some of your dream clients believe that the sales organization that support them are nothing more than vendors and should be treated as such. But before we throw stones, we might want to clean the many windows that make up our glass house; some sales organizations behave like vendors and deserve to be treated as such.

What follows is a true story.

A sales organization has a longtime relationship with a client. That client company is purchased and their long time client contact’s job is in jeopardy. The acquiring company doesn’t really understand what he’s done or how he’s set up the program he runs. A big part of the reason they don’t understand what he’s done is because he collaborated with the sales organization in building something rather unique. The sales organization’s contact is in serious risk of losing his job.

But because the relationship is deep, the sales organization’s leadership assures the contact that, should the acquiring company fire him, he will have a place in their company. The sales organization’s contact is more than grateful.

But as the acquiring company assess their new acquisition, they realize the outstanding results the sales organization’s contact has produced. He shares how the sales organization did more than their part in generating those excellent results. As it turns out, the sales organization’s contact didn’t need their job. And he didn’t forget who had his back when it looked like things were going south.

After carefully reviewing the acquiring company’s business, the sales organization’s contact awarded them a number of new lines of business. This business never went to bid. There was never an RFP. No one else was even considered for the new lines of business.

Think relationships don’t matter? Think again.

Questions

Are relationships still important in sales? In business?

Maybe you couldn’t get your contact a new job in your company, but how could you help them if they were in trouble?

Have you ever had trouble penetrating a prospective client because your competitor’s relationships was so deep?

How deep are your relationships? Was that strength built on helping them tackle tough challenges?

What’s your best relationship story?


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