My father and mentor shared a great sales truth with me many years ago. He said: “Most people use the relationship to get the deal but the reality is the relationship is the deal.”
I often work with clients, coaching and mentoring them through a large deal. Sometimes we get to celebrate together, other times it’s more of a post mortem. In several cases recently the answer to “why?” was the would be big deal closer didn’t get the subtleties of the relationship and one-to-one communication. They got the features, advantages and benefits of their solution. They even identified client needs, pains and specific outcomes desired. What they didn’t get, which was the deal killer, was the person and what approach, type of communication, and behavior was appropriate with the prospect or prospects.
(1) See the first of the questions in Geoffrey James’ The 5 questions every customer asks themselves before buying from you.
(2) See also: Seth Godin’s Overcoming the biggest barrier with a first-time buyer.
(3) Cf. What do customers care most about?