All About Relationships

As we all know, sales is not a job market for everyone.  It is a nerve-racking profession that takes some serious GUTS.  The thought of trying to persuade someone to buy something they did not know they needed is not for the faint of heart.  There are a lot of different methods out there on how to approach sales.  Doing it tactfully and respectfully while not being like the typical “sleezy car salesperson” from the movies is usually not one of them.  The reason for this is because this method takes more patience; it requires a relationship to develop so trust can be gained – instead of using manipulation tactics to get that quick sale.

Although this method is not known for getting a lot of quick sales, it has lessened the anxiety for myself and my counterpart, Conor, as salespeople.  Knowing that we are truly going to help the prospect in some form or fashion makes all the difference in the world.  Although your inner fortitude will still play a large part in walking up to or calling someone you have never met before; using this consultative, respectful approach will truly settle some of the nerves.

This method has been discussed quite frequently at Quality Assured Office Machines.  We always say that we will treat people how we would expect to be treated in whatever situation we find ourselves in.  It seemed as if we are on to something groundbreaking until I stumbled upon the below excerpt in a book that I have been reading:

Excerpt from “Daring Greatly” by Brené Brown

During the Q&A session after my talk, one of the students asked me a question that I’m sure is often on the minds of people when I talk about vulnerability. He said, “I can see how vulnerability is important, but I’m in sales and I don’t get what that looks like. Does being vulnerable mean that if a customer asks me a question about a product and I don’t know the answer, I just say what I’m thinking: ‘I’m new and I really don’t know what I’m doing?’” The students, who were all turned around listening to him, turned back in their chairs and looked at me as if to say, “Yeah, that seems lame. Are we really supposed to do that?” My answer was no. And yes. In that scenario vulnerability is recognizing and owning that you don’t know something; it’s looking the customer in the eye and saying, “I don’t know the answer to that, but I’ll find out. I want to make sure you have the correct information.” I explained that the unwillingness to engage with the vulnerability of not knowing often leads to making excuses, dodging the question, or—worst-case scenario—bullshitting. That’s the deathblow in any relationship, and the one thing I’ve learned from talking to people who sell for a living is that sales is all about relationships.  (Brown, 2012, p. 206-207)

Although I cannot say that we have invented some amazing new strategy for sales, I can say that I get to sleep well at night knowing that I am doing it the right way.  

Being able to authentically be myself – even in a sales situation – has been a huge benefit in my personal growth since starting this job.  I have been able to push through hard times and see this strategy pay off.  I have been able to prove to myself that treating people with respect, even in the “dirty” sales world, is always the way to go.  Through this process I have grown more personally than I ever have in my life.  I have gotten just enough outside of my comfort zone to see immense growth in my work life and home life.

Which relationships are the ones that thrive in life the most?  The ones that are built in trust and security.  Which relationships are the ones that fail the most?  The ones that are forced on us by impolite, pushy people.

How are you going to approach your sales?  With honesty and vulnerability?  Or with manipulation and games?

As for myself, I am going to continue to choose the one that allows me to sleep well at night...


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