Bridget Gleason is VP of Sales for Logz.io and my regular guest on Front Line Fridays.
[1:43] The topic is relationships with buyers. The definition of relationship is key. Unless they buy online, and don’t interact with a person, there is a relationship, but is it a friendship?
[3:37] A relationship is a connection. There are fundamental parameters for a buyer-seller relationship that buyers want.
[6:24] The relationship is based on the seller’s performance in support of the buyer’s needs. Expectations of both parties must be met to maintain the relationship.
[9:39] Positive neutrality is the minimum relationship. A buyer who actively dislikes you will soon go to someone else. Should the buyer’s relationship be with the salesperson, or with the salesperson’s company?
[12:06] Doug Sandler’s Nice Guys Finish First, asserts that being nice is the key to attracting buyers. People buy from people — in particular, from people they enjoy.
[14:19] Gallup published a statement several years ago about a huge mismatch between buyers’ and sellers’ perceptions of the value of the relationship. Who values the emotional factor?
[14:55] Where do salespeople get the belief that they should be friends with the buyers? What do buyers want from the relationship? Techniques are easier to teach than likability.
[15:46] A bright person can learn the features of any product well enough to sell it, but can’t always learn to approach buyers on the right personal level. Interpersonal skills are not easy for everyone.
[17:14] Bridget does not hire “jerks.” In most instances, being nice carries you further.
[18:07] You need resilience in the relationship, if and when things go wrong during the purchase.
[19:41] Bridget recalls a sale with manufacturer production delays that were damaging to a buyer. Their past positive experiences helped them to see the purchase through.
[21:09] Difficult situations call for increased communications, not for hiding from the customer. Overcommunicate. Do not let the relationship fall apart from neglect.