Use these two strategies and you won’t have to choose between the two
I commonly hear the question “Is it more important to drive revenue or more important to cultivate relationships with my clients?” Well the answer is always the same. Your job is to drive revenue. As a sales professional, that’s what you’re hired to do. Don’t confuse the objective of your job. If you develop such a strong relationship with a client that you’re forgetting to sell your product or service, you’re no longer adding value to their business. You can’t do that and expect to drive revenue. Yet, at the same time, “always be closing” is a dead mantra. Today’s consumer is savvier and more educated than ever. They want to feel like a human, not a sales number. So those high pressure tactics of “always be closing” are dead. So how do you continue to sell your product to somebody that you’ve developed a good relationship with? If the demand to drive revenue supersedes developing relationships, there’s some tension there. The question really is this: how do you sell products to your existing clients so that it doesn’t feel like you are always trying to sell products?
Share your goals
The best sales take place when no one feels like they’ve been sold, and one way to do that is to share your goals with your clients. You can share any kind of goal— personal or professional. This might sound silly at first, but it works. If you have done your job correctly and developed a good relationship with your customers, you will find that they naturally want to support you and see you succeed, and these types conversation will come up naturally. They will want to feel like you’re part of the same team. When you share goals, you are making yourself vulnerable; when you do that, you’ve given them an external motivating factor for wanting to do business with you. Sharing your goals is one key way to keep selling your products without coming across as too “sales-y.”
Leverage third party stories
This is really my secret weapon, and I believe it’s why I have never gotten the feedback that it always feels like I’m trying to sell something. I leverage third party stories all the time. If I have a successful outcome with an existing customer, I’m telling my prospects about it. I tell my existing clients success stories about other clients’ successes. If I have a great sales week, I tell my relationships about it. If I don’t have something to share, I’ll share a success story from someone my team. Leveraging third party stories and sharing positive, successful messages about your product or service creates the desire to want to continue to do business with you. The people who hear these stories want to be the subject of your next success story. It’s a great way to keep selling your products to the clients with whom you have the strongest relationships.
So remember this. The job of a sales professional is to drive revenue. You can’t take the ‘always be closing’ approach. You have to make sure your clients don’t feel like they’re being sold on anything. Sharing third party stories and sharing your goals are two strategies for creating a natural conversation that will lead to your clients doing more business with you.