The value of customer relationship is priceless
Run a business, not a company. Sales should focus on generating social capital, revenue, euros, pounds, dollars, yens or what ever currency. Stop considering sales as a department – a part of your organization. When sales are fine, everything else is also fine. When sales start declining traditional managers start working harder, putting more hours in, pushing more. This is wrong. The reason behind declining sales is almost never the lack of effort. Putting more hours in only gives you a feeling that you have done something about it. The sales are still declining but you are burned out. Conservative sales managers fall into this pitfall over and over again.
OK, what can be done differently? A lot! Let’s start thinking what sales or sales management is all about. In my opinion there are four key areas in successful sales management: relationship, message, product and price.
This is pretty easy. The market price is fixed. If you have a superb product or great brand you may uplift your price a bit. Similarly if you are a newcomer you may have to discount.
The product or service is what you deliver to the customer. Hopefully your product matches a need or even better an urgent need of the customer. So do not try to push engineering masterpiece with no customer need behind to the market. It will fail. Your product needs to be innovative and “just out of box” or “along the edges of the box”. What I mean by that? I mean the consumer or B2B customer must understand it. It is always much easier to understand the new things that are a bit different than the ones the consumers are used to. Too “highflying” concepts can be absolutely brilliant and offer stunning value to the consumer, but the poor consumer won’t ever understand what they are about. This means in short: you have a great product but your sales are close to zero.
Marketing, marketing, marketing. There is actually only one thing that makes you successful in long term: Be honest and authentic. Do not promise things you cannot deliver or your product does not do.
Last but not least. Actually the relationship is the most important part of making any sales. This is applies to retail, B2B and especially in internet sales. Why? Let’s face it, the products and services are extremely similar. I am not saying they are all the same but they are very similar. In the internet the consumer has almost infinitive amount of choice. Let’s assume that the products are similarly priced and featured. From whom does a consumer or a B2B client buy? They are most likely going to buy from the one who is the most trustworthy and known. In English this means: you have to build a trust relationship with your customers. Yes, it is so simple. Many sales managers or companies undervalue the significance of direct relationship. Many companies misuse their power in the market place by forcing consumers or B2B clients to their product or service as they do not have any other practical alternatives. By doing that they break the fundament of the relationship which is trust. You know what? I guarantee that at some point of time there will be competition and there will be viable alternatives. What will happen to the companies or managers who did misuse their dominant market position?
As a summary for successfulI sales management I am going to give only one advice. Here it comes:
The value of customer relationship cannot be measured in any currency, it is priceless. You may want to write this down: THE VALUE OF CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP IS PRICELESS.