Relationships do matter in sales

A quick search of Amazon for books about how to sell will give you access to nearly 700,000 ideas about how a sales person can win faster and more often. One topic receiving little press lately is the value of the relationship between buyer and seller. The days of stopping by with donuts in hand and getting the decision maker to place an order are probably gone, but strategic relationship plays are alive and well.You may or may not have seen the recent movie, Art and Copy. Directed by Doug Pray, it reveals the work and wisdom of some of the most influential advertising creatives of our time — people who’ve profoundly impacted our culture and developed firms like BBDO, Leo Burnett and Ogilvy. Pray tells the story of how these legendary firms developed iconic campaigns such as, “Just Do It,” “I Love NY,” “Where’s the Beef?,” “Got Milk,” “Think Different” and brilliant campaigns for everything from cars to presidents. He weaves in the real stories of the writers and artists that endear the audience to this industry and the few large firms that produce most of the advertising we see today.

In the Los Angeles area, talk of top directors is regular conversation, as you would expect. You may not think about all the rest of the media collateral requiring direction. On my block alone, I have met two directors who compete for jobs making TV commercials. They now find themselves competing against Doug Pray. Clearly, Doug developed very strong relationships with the ad agencies that make the decision about who will make commercials for their clients. It’s a tough sale now to compete with Doug.

Miller Heiman developed the principle of “Win-Results” over 20 years ago. This theory emphasizes that the seller must identify the buyer’s personal WIN, which incorporate RESULTS their product or service can impact.

Doug still has to show when he competes for a gig that he can produce RESULTS, but he met a personal Win of many ad agency buyers when he told the very engaging story of their firms and the talented men and women that built those organizations.

For all the science that is put into selling today, don’t forget to develop relationships that allow you to understand the personal wins of your clients and how you can make those happen.

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