in Career Development

Focus on Relationships and Tale of Two Leaders

Consider the following tale of two sales leaders who wanted to be successful:

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In his quest to achieve his sales targets, Peter was overly focused on "closing the sale". When in front of a customer, he often focused on what the "next steps" would be. He sold from the mindset of "What all can be sold to this customer out of all my services?" and tried to maximize his sales. He would constantly try to fit his services and convince customer that they really needed it. He believed that sales was all about selling ice cubes in Antarctica! He danced in joy when he closed a sale – and would then focus his energies completely on next sales closure. Peter was successful on a short-term, but his success was often short-lived. He wondered ‘Why?’

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Jack, on the other hand, believed in "building a relationship". When a sale was closed, he considered it as a beginning of a relationship. When in front of a customer, he mostly focused on "understanding/listening" what customer had to say. He sold from the mindset of "What are your problems and how can my services solve them?" and tried to map services with real problems. He believed that sales was all about building relationship through delivery of "value". Without getting overwhelmed (or overjoyed) about the sales closure, he focused his energy to communicate and align people for success. Jack was considered ‘slow’ initially, but he knew he had built a foundation of great relationships for a long term.

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The difference between Peter and Jack was that of the mindset – of purpose and of clarity. Jack knew that business happens and reputation is built only when you solve "real" problems of your customer. For that, first step is to understand and carefully listen. That is the starting point of all relationships. The difference between their mindsets is same as the difference between "hearing" and "listening", between "watching" and "seeing".

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Note: This post is a continuation of my first post “Focus on Effectiveness and Tale of Two Managers” – written on same lines, but with a different message. Check it out if you haven’t read it yet!

  1. Hi Tanmay,

    This post is so well crafted that it clearly conveys the core message. Sales and Business is all about reaping values and investing in building a Relation Base.
    To add more on this, there’s a saing that – “A real Sales begins when Customer says No”. And that’s where relations and strong values comes into motion. It’s all about an art.

    Thanks for providing with such a nice insight.

    Regards,
    Jay Chhaya

  2. very nice, and true.
    Truly sales is always more then you “sale your product”. When I was in Diamond market in Surat, I saw many big merchants who never cared about selling their diamonds, but even if you dont know them and go to their office they will treat you like their old friends. Thats the way everyone knows them in market, and when you are famous in market, your name sell the product.
    Making relationship with clients or customers is long term investment.

  3. Really Nice post, Tanmay

    A very powerful tale for Sales Leaders. I think its very easy to sell but its too difficult to maintain a long term relationship with customer. Generally a sales person thinks that his work is completed after selling a product but don’t think about building the relationship.

    We can say a sales person should combine the dual qualities of empathy and ambition in every sales relationship.

    Thanks for providing such a wonderful Tale.

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