Recently I interviewed an American Sales Consultant Casey Jacox about his career which has led him to become a consultant, podcast host and author. As part of that discussion, we briefly talked about a book that he has written entitled “Win the Relationship, Not the Deal’. He described how as part of his routine; he would always follow up with prospective clients/clients that he missed out on deals with a few days later. He would check in with them to ensure that the company that won the deal was doing what they said that they would do, thank them for the opportunity and commit to staying in touch.
Casey found that with his sales teams, they were too deal or transactional focused, rather than relationship focused. Deals can come and go, but relationships can be long term!
When you think about it, how many of us are guilty of putting the deal first rather than the relationship? The quick return versus, the long-term opportunity!
Ultimately, we all need deals for our businesses to survive and flourish, the question is, how do we go about it? The short-term approach is to focus on the deal. The longer term, more strategic approach is to focus on the relationship.
With most businesses facing increasing competition, how do they survive? Having a unique product or service is a big step in the right direction, but you might not be that lucky, or it may not be enough.
If you can build strong relationships, it will not only potentially bring you direct business, but also referrals and longevity. So why don’t all businesses build strong relationships? There seems to be potentially two big obstacles. Firstly, it takes time and could result in a situation where a business opportunity needs to be turned down. Rather than taking the deal, it might be better to decline it and build credibility if you are unable to deliver the best result. Secondly, it takes consistent, long-term effort.
Being willing to call people who have chosen another company over you and maintain the relationship, is not appealing for most, but that could be the key to winning long term. Our temptation is to go for the deal, but Casey is right, we need to focus on winning the relationship not the deal and the deals will come long term. He ought to know, he was the number one salesperson in America in his former company!
If you want to know more about how to win the relationship, not the deal, Casey’s book can be found on Amazon.