Time to put this “Relationship Selling” Shit to Bed

Relationship selling as we once knew it is DEAD. Put a fork in it. It’s over.

The other day on Twitter, this popped up in my timeline:

I personally prefer selling after building a relationship. Trust goes a long way in sales.

This tweet was in response to my post on A Sales Guy Consulting blog of the Huthwaite video stating that relationship selling is dead. Yes, selling after a relationship has been established is preferable, but HOW the relationship is established matters.

Relationship selling is dead, it’s not coming back.  It’s time everyone accept it and move one.

The “relationship selling” that is dead is the when we leverage a personal relationship to gain trust and confidence in order to sell. The approach where golf, lunches, dinners, Holiday cards, sporting events, swag, family discussions and friendship are used to gain the trust, confidence, support and camaraderie of your buyers are over. No one wants to be your friend. No one cares if you went to the same college. No one cares if you were in the same sorority. No one cares if you both ski and went to Vail last year. The approach to establish a relationship through EQ, being buddies and boondoggles are finished!

The “relationship selling” that isn’t dead is when we leverage industry knowledge, product knowledge, trend insight, and solution knowledge to HELP our clients. Trust is no longer built on commonalities, common interests, EQ, or likability, but rather on the ability of sales to demonstrate they have the knowledge, understanding and capabilities to improve the world of the buyer.

Do you wanna build a relationship with your prospect? Then know their business. Know what the industry is doing. Know where the market is headed and the implications of the trend. Know your product, how it fits into the big picture and know how to create valuable, compelling solutions.

“Relationship selling” as we knew it is dead. Get rid of the swag. Shrink the expense budget and start reading.  Knowledge is the new relationship sale.