I’m often asked about how strong my personal business network is in a particular industry or vertical. My answer is always that over the years I did develop good relationships but that is not what makes your product sell on the market. It’s all about your product value. Here’s my point:
Conventional sales wisdom is that selling is about relationships and in complex sales, relationships are essential for sales success. Thanks to several economy crises that is simply not the case anymore. Of course, customers still love relationship builders; they are not perceived as sellers. But here is also the issue: Relationship selling today is by far the most ineffective sales technique.
If you don’t believe me just take a look at Figure 2.3 “Core and High Performers by Profile” (Source: CEB, CEB Sales Leadership Council, 2011 – unfortunately the link is broken due to redesign of CEB website) or read the book “The Challenger Sale” from Matt Dixon.
Value Added Selling
This is one of several sales techniques that relies on building on the inherent product value. Combined with the Challenger Selling Model a seller is focused to push the customer out of their comfort zone in order to teach (add value to his customer’s business), tailor the positioning (right message for the right person) and take overall control of the sale.
While Value Added Selling is focused on customer value, Relationship Selling is more concerned with customer convenience.
What do you think is more successful?