Sales Posturing or Relationship Selling?

Posted by Chris Mott on Thu, Sep 15, 2011 @ 11:09 AM

Optimism, passion and the willingness to walk away are traits great salespeople share. Curiosity and the ability to ask forthright questions help us understand a prospect’s needs. Sales Posture separates good salespeople from great salespeople.

I read an article recently that’s premise was that Mitt Romney has an authenticity problem.

What exactly is an authenticity problem? How do we know if this is true? Who has this opinion and how did they decide? Whatever the conclusion, the critical question is what impact will your opinion have on your actions?  

happy guyWe live in a time where everything is “positioned”.  The emphasis on “political correctness” so strongly influences what we say that we even question what we should be thinking. Opinions have replaced facts and facts are used to justify every position.

I’ll use a “relationship” salesperson to demonstrate this and stipulate that they are friendly, engaging, easy to talk to and likeable. What opinions could a prospect form from interacting with them?  

  • Nice person
  • I enjoy spending time with them
  • Didn’t get to the issues
  • What did I learn?
  • Is there value?

The time prospects invest with us is so precious and the speed with which they form opinions so fast that we don’t always have time to “build a relationship”.  My conclusion, Sales Posture is more important than building a relationship. Additionally value creation is directly proportional to Sales Posture.

Sales posture is how you carry yourself. It includes your frame of mind, attitude and disposition. To define Sales Posturing, think of the words below as being measured on a scale each at opposite ends. Your Sales Posture can be measured by where you lie on each scale.

Scarcity – Abundance

Dishonesty – Honesty

Prideful – Humility

Antagonistic – Empathy

Indifferent – Curiosity

Indirectness – Directness

Unbelievable – Credible

Restless - Calmness

If you ever played with the equalizer on your iPod you know there are different settings for various musical styles. The classical setting is different from the rock setting. This equalizer analogy helps to visualize Sales Posture. You might conclude the following; I don't manifest abundance enough, I'm overly restless and not as curious as I need to be. These observations can be used for personal development, guidelines for opportunity strategy and as a way to measure  Speed On Bases (SOB) with clients and prospects.

It’s easy to look at a word like "dishonest" and quickly conclude that’s not you.  Consider the following when you complete this exercise.

  • Their opinion is the one that matters
  • Not speaking your mind is a form of dishonesty
  • Human beings are inherently flawed
  • It’s just an inventory

Topics: sales posturing, relationships, relationship building

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