Thursday, November 10, 2011

Building Mutually Beneficial Relationships

By Thomas A. Freese, November, 7, 2011, SMM.
If the intangible nature of perceived value is sometimes difficult for customers to quantify, try putting a fence around the notion of trust. Let me pose this question: Who is it that you trust? I bet it’s not some cold caller on the telephone who’s offering a fantastic deal chosen “just for you!” Cold callers are ostensibly trying to offer you an ideal solution, yet they don’t even know you. It’s important to realize that prospective customers may be just as reticent to engage in an open-ended dialogue when meeting a salesperson for the first time.
There’s no doubt that our business culture has grown increasingly cautious toward vendors, especially those with whom we don’t already have an existing relationship. Thus, it stands to reason that being disappointed by one vendor’s actions could very easily erode a customer’s faith in the system, making it that much more difficult for the next salesperson who wants to build a strong business relationship. Our cultural skepticism has evolved to the point where I recently saw a bumper sticker in a church parking lot that read, “Trust in God, but lock your car!”
Understanding the dynamics of how mutual trust is created is particularly important for salespeople.... Read more.