Absolutely. The International Sales Institute (TISI) knows that people are more interested in how much we care than in how much we know, however many modern-day sellers have forgotten the importance of demonstrating this critical caring behaviour.
In the present challenging business environment it has become more important in the minds of many short term business thinkers, it seems there is a greater need to be seen as more knowledgeable, than to be more personally caring.
Regrettably many business leaders seem to be more self-focused and interested in what their businesses know about their clients’ businesses, than being selfless and empathetic to the people who preserve these relationships.
To test if you are self-focused or selfless and empathetic in your business activities, ask yourself the following questions:
- How often do you call on a business colleague just to see how they are doing – on a personal level?
- How often do you call on a client or customer to find out how they are doing, personally, without some ulterior purpose connected to the sale of your products or services?
- How much do you know about your clients and customers on a personal level. Nothing to do with a business transaction?
- How much do you personally, really genuinely, care about your clients/customers as people?
- And most importantly, do you communicate/demonstrate your caring to them?
Demonstrating personal caring is by its very nature, special and intimate. An automated out of office reply, a computer generated text or a conversation with a call centre person in a remote part of the world, won’t demonstrate this critical and intimate personal caring.
If most of what you are interested in about people, only relates to areas in which you can personally or professionally financially benefit, then you have seriously failed this personal relationship test. You have regrettably established beyond any doubt that you are only interested in what you and your business can get out of the relationship. Your caring relates to your self-interest.
The International Sales Institute’s 12 Immutable Laws of Relationship Based Selling, is designed to demonstrate the core discernible values of a sales persons’, personal caring. Law 12 captures it all:
Treat me like a person, not just a client
“Treat me like an equal and deal with me one to one.
Don’t talk down to me and throw in a few ‘little extras’ every now and then.
Advise me on closely related matters even if you are not being paid for them.”
This 12th Immutable Law encompasses many of the other eleven laws and establishes the continuous need for the seller to adhere to all of the 12 laws in order to maintain a unique personal relationship with any customer leading to converting that customer into a client, and then an advocate.
In the event that a seller, who adheres to these laws finds that a client relationship “is not what it used to be” or is “in decline”, an objective & honest review of these 12 Immutable Laws will generally uncover the cause of the relationship restlessness. This objective review will enable the seller to then put in place a course of action to remedy the personal relationship breakdown. It is also appropriate to note that relationships, both personal and business, do and can breakdown for no apparent or quantifiable reasons and often the reasons for such breakdowns remain unidentified or worse still unidentifiable.
The issue of building and sustaining relationships between people is not a science, whether these relationships are of a personal or business nature, however often a review or revitalization of the rules of engagement which originally established the relationship in the first instance, is a judicious place to start, when seeking a revival of any interpersonal partnership.
When a seller wants to get to know a customer because they really care, a relationship is liable to commence and continue. On the other hand if the seller is only keen to get to know a customer because they want to sell the customer something, the relationship may start as a “one night stand” with both parties needing self-seeking outcomes.
If the seller’s only intention is to make self-focused “profit” from the connection, it will likely end in sadness and regret, just like most other “one night stands”!
The 12 Immutable laws of Relationship Based Selling are equally important. All 12 make up the basis on which a sustainable, personal, selfless and unselfish relationship can be established and sustained.
Many successful sellers are natural selfless personal relationship builders. It is the very purpose for which they exist.
Regrettably the payment of incentives in the form of financial commissions can turn the most caring selfless relationship builder into a selfish vulture. The global financial services industry is suffering acutely from these predatory and selfish “one night stand” sales methods.
Sellers, who are totally selfless and unsurprisingly care about people, are never stimulated by what they can earn. They are motivated by what they can give and not by what they can take. They find it impossible to walk past a person in distress without demonstrating their caring – for free. This is who they are, naturally, and this is how they behave.
If you are not one of these incredible people, life as a seller will be difficult. That is not to say that you will not be successful, however, unlike the natural personal relationship builder, you will be restricted to building short term relationships, one night stands. Hopefully over time you may broaden your sustainable relationship competences and desires.
Another good way to check your selfless relationship indicator is to ask:
- How much information do I know about each of my clients/customers?”
Check your notes on each client. Now delete all the business information you have, such as trading arrangements, dollar trading levels and all other business to business information. What is left is your personal information client/customer personal relationship indicator.
Then ask yourself what these clients/customers know about you and not about your organisation or product. Finding out personal information about a person often means also sharing your personal information with these people. This will help you determine your personal self-disclosure relationship indicator.
It is impossible to build a sustainable relationship with anyone without a mutual sharing of information between the people.
The most significant word contained within the philosophy called the 12 Immutable Laws of Relationship Based Selling, is the word “relationship“.
Moreover it is committed to a personal and selfless relationship between two or more people and not between two or more businesses.
Unquestionably, people are really more interested in how much we care than in how much we know.
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