As someone in the profession of selling, you are the most valuable, most important person in your company. No one has more impact on income, growth, and profit than you. Your performance determines the current and future success of your company and your earning potential
Yet, competition for customers has become fierce. Attracting and maintaining a profitable customer base means going beyond mere selling to “partnering” with your customers. You must learn how to create successful, long-lasting partnerships with your customers.
The goal of selling today is to create satisfied customers, not to push a product.
The key to selling success is to maintain a balance between “satisfying customers” and pushing product. This requires establishing partnerships with customers.
Partnering means to bring added value, to learn about customer needs, to understand customer problems, and to respect their point of view. This builds a bridge that results in win-win solutions for both the customer and yourself.
In partnering, we become members of our customer’s teams. We see through their eyes, care about their success and contribute to their bottom line.
Let’s use the acronym ENABLES to better understand Partnership Selling
E – Establish Rapport
N – Nix Preconceived Notions
A – Ask Questions
B – Be Accepting
L – Listen Carefully
E – Ensure Understanding
S – Share Ideas
Old Sales Model – The “Peddler”
The old “peddler” approach focused on selling rather than buying, on product buying, on a product rather than benefits, on forcing needs rather than learning about them. Peddlers sell on the assumption that “one size fits all”.
New Sales Model – Partnership Selling
- Partnership selling is very different. It focuses on creating a buying environment based on customer – defined value.
- Partnership salespeople create a bridge between themselves and their customers that allow for win-win solutions.
- In partnership selling with organizations, the salesperson understands that every corporation has its own culture, structure and decision-making process. Therefore, they must modify their approach based on the customer’s needs.
- Partnership selling is enhanced when the salesperson takes into account the buyer component which includes their role within the organization, their personality style, and their individual buying behavior.
Creating effective partnerships requires respect, trust, rapport, and honesty. If you are successful, the end result will be that your customers will prefer to do business with you to your competition.
Once that partnership is established, you’ll find that the focus on customer needs is what will truly move your products and services out the door!
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