First off, I want to confess that although I have been working in a sales driven professional environment for over 20 years, I have never once referred to myself as a "sales person." In fact, I have to admit that I am not at all a sales person. So how have I been able to survive and thrive in a notoriously high stress sales environment for all of these years? Maybe it is because I love people...all people. Or maybe it is because I went to school for teaching and I truly enjoy helping others which has aided me in finding my stride in recruiting as a profession.
Years ago I was taught sales tactics by the likes of Dale Carnegie, Ron Popeil, and others. They taught us a number of complicated things like the “fact-bridge-benefit” and how to help prospects envision the pain of not utilizing our service. I also learned about the flip side of "painting the word picture" to help prospects see how they could save money and time by utilizing our service, as well as how to present my service offerings to a cold prospect in order to obtain a deal.
Although these traditional sales techniques still have an important place in a beginner sales training, there is something that I call K.A.R.M.A.A. that simply cannot be taught. In my opinion, this is the real reason why some professionals continue to succeed in sales and others do not.
Obviously we've all heard of the concept of karma; what comes around goes around. However, my spin on its meaning and how it relates to relationship selling is more specific. I believe that if you are mindful of these 6 attributes of K.A.R.M.A.A. every day, you will come out ahead and distinguish yourself as a relationship seller.
It seems obvious that in relationship-based selling you need to be kind and treat everyone professionally. However have you ever met with or spoken to a sales person who smiled and said all of the right things, but your gut told you not to trust them? I have as well. So in my opinion, kindness goes beyond the outward niceties of what someone says and does. It should focus on how you make someone feel that truly matters. However, you can only offer real kindness when you are able to step outside of yourself and put yourself into someone else’s shoes. Possessing empathy is an expression of kindness and when your buyer knows you have their true interests at heart, they will feel more comfortable working with you.
If you want to be good in sales, you need the right attitude. This means you put forth your energy and effort each day into working harder, smarter, and faster than you did the day before. Are you eager to continue to learn and grow? Are you willing to put in the time and effort needed to seek out ways of self-improvement without being asked? If so, you are a sales spirit at heart! If you don’t… you know that someone else from your competition who wants it more will do this. This desire is one of the hardest aspects of sales and business development. The right attitude will allow you to keep your focus, roll up your sleeves, and put in the hard work needed.
This one is easy and just plain common sense to me. Just like in your life outside of work, you need to respect your business relationships and continually work to improve them. Anyone who is content in just letting things be will find that a competitor who values and respects the buyer more will swoop in to steal them from you. You’ve got to be grateful for your client’s loyalty and show it! Never take your professional relationships for granted.
In order to be great at relationship selling you have to be motivated! True sales professionals have an innate desire to win, succeed, and please others. You have to be able to self-manage by working smart and prioritizing what really matters during your day. Motivation in relationship selling also means there is reason behind your efforts. In other words, a successful relationship seller has no hidden agenda behind their actions. These salespeople view themselves as a true business partner who is a subject matter expert willing to offer time and advice even if there isn’t necessarily a monetary advantage to be made.
When you have a job you may not need awareness…but when you have an established career, awareness is a critical component to success. This means that you aren’t just going through the motions each day, but rather you’re being present and aware in everything you do. It’s about having established procedures in place so that you don’t miss a step. You know what potential relationship opportunities are out there and how to be innovative enough to switch gears if something isn’t working. Having awareness when you encounter difficulties requires a certain degree of critical thinking in order to come up with solutions to overcome those obstacles and improving your overall performance.
Last, but certainly not least, you need to be yourself when creating and establishing business relationships. You can’t form true business relationships unless you are willing to expose a little bit of yourself to others. Again, we are all human beings and we each have our own flaws. Being real is the magic that happens when you have reached success as a relationship seller.
In order to be successful in developing and maintaining your relationships in business, you need to have these attributes of K.A.R.M.A.A. These qualities will not only help you establish yourself in an effective sales setting, but will also help you throughout your entire career.
Want more information that will help you to succeed in your career? Subscribe to our blog below and receive the latest career advice!