Sales Success? Make Certain They Know You Care

“They won’t Care How Much You Know Until They Know How Much You Care”

That quote from former President Theodore Roosevelt was one of the earliest things my first mentor as a sales manager stressed 25 years ago. He was convinced – and he panned out to be right dozens of times over the years – that your expertise means a lot less to potential clients than a clear sense that you had their best interests at heart.

Communications has become a lot about technology these days – texting, social media and e-mail (remember that 90s mainstay that has been seemingly eclipsed by instant talk technology?), But regardless of how quickly you respond, you must come across as genuine.

Arthur Levitt Jr., a business executive and the former, and longest-serving, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, summed it up best: “You can have all the technology and global forces you want, but it’s useless if basic trust doesn’t exist.”

Much has been written – and read —  along these lines, perhaps no author is more on target about relationships with clients as John Maxwell. Maxwell repeats Roosevelt’s mantra often

Maxwell boils it down to this: To be an effective producer, business leader or influence a prospect in a positive way, you must answer three questions effectively:

  • Do you care for them?
  • Can you help them?
  • Can they trust you?

It’s easy to forget in today’s “Sell, Sell, Sell” environment that the two agendas – Yours and the Clients —  must be to some degree satisfied. Otherwise, in the long haul, the relationship will end up on tilt.

And if you start by honing your listening skills, you have the best chance to succeed and survive. If they believe that you value them individually, the relationship will flourish.

To really be successful at almost anything, influence becomes the key. In his blog today, Maxwell posed a question about successfully gaining influence.

His answer:

“You can’t build influence without other people. From bake sales to board meetings, there is no leadership without others, because influence comes from other people. It’s something they give in response to who they perceive you to be. The moment people perceive you differently is the moment that influence is withdrawn.”



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