The Relationship Closing Technique

Getty Images

There is an old expression in sales: If people like you, they will find a reason to buy from you. And if they don't like you, they will find a reason not to buy from you. The fact is that people like to deal with people they like. In sales, no matter how hard you try to deliver value if your prospect doesn't like you, they probably won't buy from you.

Trying Too Hard

You probably know people who are obsessed with trying to get everyone to like them.

Though you may have told them a million times that no matter what they do, no one is liked by everyone. People dislike other people for reasons that both make sense and that make no sense at all.

No matter where you may fall in your desire to be liked, everyone has a degree of wanting to be liked. Sales professionals have an additional reason to want to be liked. Being liked by prospects and customers means more sales, more opportunities for advancement and more money in their accounts. However, a critical error that many rookie sales professionals make is trying too hard to get their customers to like them.

When someone tries to get someone to like them, they often come across fake and insincere. And if a customer senses that a sales person is fake, the chances that they will buy from them are very slim.

Be Yourself and Be Professional

When you can be your professional self, customers will recognize that you are genuine and your credibility will instantly increase.

This is not to say that being yourself is a guaranteed way to make a sale, but rather it allows you to be more comfortable in your customer-facing presentations and much more relaxed. An uncomfortable sales professional is usually viewed as either someone who lacks confidence or is incompetent. Neither of these qualities will advance your sales career.

Closing a Sale Based on Relationship

Think about the last time that someone who you liked asked you to do something? Unless the request was a ridiculous one or one that would cause you harm, you probably had a challenging time refusing the request. Why? Because human nature takes over and people do not want people that they like to dislike them. Saying "no" to a reasonable request puts the decliner in a stressful position. It is much easier to say "yes" and avoid the nervousness that comes along with turning a friend down.

A Relationship is Built Over Time

Getting to the point with customers that they buy from you simply because of your relationship with them takes time. And while the time it takes for a relationship to be a solid one varies from people to people, sales professionals should view each meeting with a customer as a chance to not only deliver more value about their product or service but also to build a relationship.

Selling to friends also has its drawbacks that need also be considered. Just because you may have a strong relationship with a customer, and may even consider them a personal friend does not mean it's okay to sell them products they really don't need at a price that is much higher than what you charge to others.

Not only are these two practices that are great ways to lose your relationship, they also can serve to harm your networking reputation.

Networking Through Your Relationships

Professional networking is an important, and often times a critical part of a successful sales career. If you have developed solid relationships with some customers, gaining referrals and networking connections is often easily accomplished. You earned your relationship through trust and common bonds. You have demonstrated that you are a professional who delivers value. Most anyone would be willing, if not glad to give you referrals and to introduce you to their networking base.

A Final Word

Not only will adopting an attitude of building relationships with customers yield more positive results, it will also help you build self-confidence, self-esteem and professionalism.

It may also have the added benefit of earning you a life-long friend.