One of the things I enjoy most is meeting young, talented individuals who are entering the workforce with an eye on sales and sales leadership. In fact, I enjoy it so much, I have volunteered to teach a class twice a year for the past 12 years at a University in the Midwest. The Dean [...]
It's hard to watch television this days without getting the sense that "true understanding" is in reasonably short supply in many circles in our country; however, several things I have read over the years have led me to the conclusion that one of the most critical traits of really successful people is an open mind. The statement, "The mind doesn't work unless it's open" has been drilled into many of us over our life time yet I would venture to say that many of us have found ourselves in recent months with anything but a truly open mind.
We hear it constantly. Sales representatives say, “I need something new to say because I can’t get more than a few seconds with my customer.” It’s easy to put the blame on the message. But in reality, the problem may not be your messaging—but rather your relationship.
We tend to do business with those we like. This makes sense—so much so that many of us feel this way almost instinctively. This belief has been validated by numerous experts, articles and research. However, this often cited phrase has led many in sales to develop friendships with customers. Developing a friendship is not the same as building a meaningful business relationship—and that distinction is important because you won’t get the same results.
“A perfect relationship takes a lot of practice to work. A lot of sacrifice, pain, regret and honesty. Most of all, it takes a lot of respect.” I saw this quote posted on the internet in different places so I’m not sure who wrote it but I thought the timing was fortuitous since we just celebrated Valentine’s day on Sunday.
Thanks to our technologically advanced world, there are many ways we can keep in touch with those people who matter most to us—seeing them in person, making phone calls, sending texts, emails, and/or posts on social media. When we reach out and touch someone it sends a message that this person matters to us. And the opposite is also true—when we let too much time slip by, we (often unconsciously) send a message that we have better things to do than to connect with this person and that they really aren’t that important to us.
“How can I get more time with the physicians I call on?” That’s a question I’m often asked when I work with BioPharma sales representatives. Gaining more time with customers seems to be one of the more challenging aspects of selling in the life sciences industry. Although there is no guaranteed way to get the healthcare professional to spend more time with you, I’m a big believer that building business relationships can be a major differentiator in how much time your customers will give you and how intently they will listen.