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By Rick Crandall

Building Relationships, the First Secret

Not Hard Selling

Too many people don't like the idea of marketing because they think of it as "hard sell." Your customers and prospects don't like to be high-pressured. If you don't like it either, why do it?

Focus on building the relationship and you will feel more comfortable - and so will the prospect or customer. When you relax and act naturally, you come across better. When you're not pushing, prospects feel less pressure. They then relax and let a relationship develop.

People Are Suspicious

When people feel sales pressure from you, their defenses automatically go up. Then anything you say is discounted or ignored. This makes it impossible to build any real relationship. People know that you have a reason to be insincere in the relationship with them. You want something from them - their money.

Even when you don't exert sales pressure, people may be suspicious. This makes it hard for a relationship to develop. Fortunately, there are ways for sincerity to win people over even if your social skills aren't perfect. Persistence and familiarity can work. By taking your time and keeping in contact with people, they begin to like you more. They figure that even if you have a "hidden" motive, if you're willing to put in the time to win them over, they can trust you more when they
do business with you.

If you relax and have a real interest in the relationship, they will pick up your sincerity and be less defensive. This makes them more open to the benefits of doing business with you, whether you bring them up or not.

"Real" Relationships vs. Customer Relationships

For good salespeople, there isn't any difference between their personal, social relationships and business relationships. They really do like their customers and prospects. One benefit of selling
is that you get to talk with a lot of interesting people. And people are the most stimulating thing there is in life. Look at sales contacts as a way to meet interesting people.


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