This blog is posted on July 4, 2019. In the United States of America we celebrate July 4th as Independence Day. This is the date when the Second Continental Congress declared the United States to be a free and independent country.
The Declaration of Independence asserted each of us has the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. And that free people can institute governments to protect these rights.
What Does Independence Day Have To Do With Selling?
We call this blog Secrets of the Softer Side of Selling because over the 45 years of selling experience we learned that the “soft skills” are effective in changing behavior. The Founders of the United States had tried to change King George’s behavior by petition. But he was tyrannical in his behavior to the petitioners. So the Founders decided to declare independence and “fire” the King.
There have been times over my selling career when the relationship with a customer wasn’t mutually beneficial. When I couldn’t change that, I “fired” the customer. The Founders were not able to have an amicable separation from Great Britain. However, I always worked hard to part friends with customers when the relationship wasn’t mutually beneficial. I continued to keep in touch with past customers in hopes their situation would change and we could again do business.
Good Selling Sometimes Means To Declare Independence
Great salespeople approach each new prospect with optimism planning to develop a mutually beneficial long-term relationship. Most of the time it works out that way. But when it doesn’t great salespeople have the selling skills to end the relationship. And do it in a respectful, professional manner.
What You Can Do Right Now
Look at your customer list. Which ones are great customers? Those where you have a strong long-term mutually beneficial relationship. Are there customers you would rather send to your competition? They take more time, energy and cost more to maintain rather than produce sufficient profit. If so plan a strategy to either improve the relationship or “declare independence” from them.
Don Crawford & Lois Carter Crawford