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To Increase Revenues, Stop Selling

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Executive Summary.

  1. Why this is important.
  2. Listen, Listen, Listen

Creating or expanding business relationships is not about selling - it's about establishing trust, rapport, and value creation without selling. Call me crazy, but I don't want to talk to someone who wants to manage my account, develop my business, or engineer my sale. I want to communicate with someone who desires to fulfill my needs or solve my problems. Any organisation that still has "sales" titles on their org charts and business cards is living in another time and place, while attempting to do business in a world that's already passed them by.

stop-sellingEngage me, communicate with me, add value to my business, solve my problems, create opportunity for me, educate me, inform me, but don't try and sell me - it won't work. An attempt to sell me insults my intelligence and wastes my time. Think about it; do you like to be sold? News flash - nobody does. Now ask yourself this question, do you like to be helped? Most reasonable people do. The difference between the two positions while subtle, are very meaningful and powerful. The traditional practice of sales as a business discipline has become at best ineffective, and in many cases flat out obsolete. You see, good business practices are not static. Stale methodologies and disciplines simply die a slow and very painful death.

Lest you think I've lost my mind, I want to be clear that I'm not advocating taking your eye off the revenue creation ball. Rather what I'm recommending will help you generate more revenue, with greater velocity by simply doing the right thing in putting your customer's needs first.

I hear a lot of noise about the tough economy, and revenue being down for many companies. I hear complaint upon complaint that companies just don't have money to spend, and that nobody is buying. If you're experiencing this type of reaction from your customer, it's not because they don't have money to spend, it's because you're selling and not adding value. It's because you're talking and not listening.

It's because you don't get it...

hands-heartIt's not about you, your company, your products or your services. It's about meeting customer needs and adding value. It's all about helping. When you start paying more attention to your customer needs than your revenue needs, you'll find you no longer have a revenue problem to complain about.

So, my first suggestion is you change nomenclature. Clients are people not fish. Don't "lure" or "hook" them - engage them, listen to them and serve them. Eliminate the words "suspects" and "prospects" from your vocabulary and replace them with potential clients.

Think about it - do you establish trust by profiling and targeting prospects, or by attempting to understand the needs of a potential client? This is much more than a argument about semantics - it's a philosophical shift in thinking, and a practical shift in acting. Stop selling and start serving.

Andrew Clare is Managing Partner of reLiance a business to business relationship marketing practice. I focus on improving client profitability through developing, implementing and measuring sustainable, collaborative business to business relationships.

Cell: +27 83 326 2451, E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Web: www.rassa.co.za, LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/andrewclare

 

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