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Relationships Before Value

There are countless sales frameworks and sales methodologies, all with different ideas of what’s most important in winning new sales opportunities and retaining clients. This year’s fashion is insight. Next year’s fashion will bring another new version of some other old thing.

Regardless of what you read, see, or hear, make no mistake, your sales results are built on relationships.

Before Value

Your relationships come even before value. Yes, even value. Stop and think about it. Who exactly are you creating value for?

When you talk about your dream clients you use the company’s name as a sort of shorthand for the people that make up that company. Your dream client company doesn’t perceive value; only the human beings within that company perceive value.

Value is one of the ways you build and maintain that relationship. Value is one of the foundations of the relationship.

Your Business Acumen and Situational Knowledge

Who values your business acumen and situational knowledge? The only way you transfer your ideas to another organization is through the people that make up that organization, i.e., your relationships.

The only way results are created in your company, in your client company, or in any company is through people. This begins with winning hearts and minds, by establishing trusted relationships. Relationships are what allow you to make recommendations, to build the consensus necessary to bring change, and to execute and deliver the outcomes you sold.

You Lost the Relationships

When you lose an opportunity you say something to the effect of, “We lost the XYZ deal.” But how did you lose that opportunity? You lost the opportunity because the people within that prospective account decided to do something different. You lost because you didn’t have the relationships you needed to win.

I know, I know. You lost because your dream client didn’t perceive value, your competitor had a lower price, or one of a million other reasons outside of your control. Poppycock. Relationships allow you to change the perception of value and to move from price to value.

There’s nothing more certain to producing good sales results than building the relationships necessary to do so. Everything else that you do is in service of those relationships. The value you create is the value for those relationships. The caring you do is caring for the people that make up the companies you serve. The trust you create is trust in your relationships.

Relationship selling is dead? As long there are human beings buying from other human beings, relationships will matter. Because trust matters. Because caring matters. Because creating new value matters. But it all matters as part of your overall relationship.


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