When I ask sales reps to boil down the entire selling process into a one-word answer, I get a wide variety of interesting responses such as “service,” “education” or “consulting.” Seldom do I get the answer that I’m expecting to hear: “relationship.” Regardless of your industry, at the end of the day you’re in the people business. As the old saying goes, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
The key to making a successful sale is not a transfer of information but the establishment of a working relationship. Most salespeople shoot themselves in the foot by trying to close a sale too quickly without first taking the time to lay a firm foundation of trust and rapport. This oversight is the equivalent of a construction worker being in such a hurry to get the walls up and the roof on, that he forgets about pouring the concrete foundation.