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Friendship Drives 50% of All Sales and Business Relationships

February 12, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 113

If you need more sales you don't necessarily need better sales techniques, you need more friends. Just refer to what Bob Burg calls "The Golden Rule of Networking": "All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust."

I find it odd when people say that they won't do business with their friends. I don't get it. I work with a lot of sales people and business owners and it appears to me that their goals are pretty similar:

- Help people - Develop fulfilling relationships - Have fun and enjoy the process

That being said, why wouldn't you sell to your friends? Unless you have the wrong idea of what selling involves - ah ha, that's the block right there!

Think of your best customers. You obviously have a great relationship with them. How did you get to that point? When you have strong friendship- or trust-based relationships with your customers, your best competitor will not be able to steal those customers away. These are the best relationships because there is no need for aggressive sales techniques, the relationships have fewer demands and there is a mutual respect for each other.

So, how do you start? It takes time to build lasting relationships. You don't propose marriage on the first date! Therefore, you shouldn't expect to close your prospect right on the spot. We work with some sales organizations that tend to close sales on the first call or the first interaction and we give them tools to do so in a non-aggressive manner.

But, this isn't the type of sales relationships that I'm talking about in this article. I am focusing on the bigger sales - the sales where you are not simply scratching the surface and only getting a portion of the sale, but you're landing the whole sale and a stream of referrals to boot.

You may think that you don't have time to develop relationships, but this is truly the best move you can make. When you develop relationships, you identify how you can provide value to your customer and see the opportunities to help them. Instead of aggressively establishing yourself as a "sales person," try establishing yourself as someone who can help them.

Try some of the following tactics to build a friendly, helpful relationship. Instead of giving your customer tickets to an event your company is hosting, go with the customer and spend some quality time building your relationship. If you're an independent business that does not host events often, try taking your customer to an event they would be interested in. There are plenty of options to choose from, such as:

- Breakfast, lunch or dinner - A networking event - A seminar your company is giving - An interesting speaker event

Get involved in organizations where people can meet you and learn more about you. Don't be the best kept secret in town - tell people what you do. However, being friends doesn't mean that you don't need great sales skills because you do need to know how to conduct yourself in the business world. But if you haven't established any relationships, you'll never break into the "clique" or the "old boy's club."

Remember who your champion or cheerleader is - the person who believes in you and your business and will ensure that everyone knows you are the best thing since sliced bread (or wine - whatever)! That person opens doors for you, rallies the team to support you and gets you in the door.

We both know this type of support is not there for an aggressive, pushy sales person who is only interested in their commission - a true champion is rooted in a lasting business relationship. The "hit-and-run and on to the next sale" approach will result in a quick and one-time commission. A friend and ongoing business relationship will result in a windfall - in more ways than one!

Nancy Drew is the CEO of Drew & Associates International Inc. a company devoted to empowering small businesses and sales professionals throughout North America, with tools to make more money and have the time to enjoy it! If you enjoyed this article and want to find out how others have increased sales by 700% you'll love our free strategies and how to tips that will help you achieve dynamic results!

Get your complimentary CD - 6 Winning Strategies for Prospecting - and free monthly tips for business success! Simply visit us at to subscribe to our ezine and your free CD will be sent to you today!

Drew & Associates International Inc. 708 11th Avenue SW Suite 246, Calgary, AB T2R 0E4 Toll Free & Customer Service:

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