“If you are a buyer and you’ve got as much information as the seller, the new caveat is seller beware not buyer beware!(Daniel pink)
Professor Neil Rackham Author of ‘SPIN Selling’ in the forward of Matt Dixon and Brent Adamson book ‘The Challenger Sale.’ The Professor talks about the decline of relationship selling.
A conventional model that has underpinned many of my sales success is now over the last 15years been considered to be less effective than it used to be.
I have implemented this model for many years and would consider it to be critical within the Optical healthcare industry.
However, studies conducted by the professor found that when they asked a sample of 1100 customers what they valued in salespeople, he was surprised to find how few times they mentioned relationships.
“ It seemed the old advice build relationships and sales will follow” no longer holds true. That is not to say relationships aren’t important. He believes that the relationship and the purchasing decisions have become decoupled.
Today you will hear customers say
“ I have a great relationship with my optometrist but I buy my spectacles from her competitor because they provide better value”
He believes customer relationships is the result and not the cause of successful selling. “It is the reward that the salesperson earns by creating customer value”
If you help them think differently and bring them new ideas which is what the ‘challenger’ optician does, then you earn the right to a relationship.”
(Professor Neil Rackham)
Survey of customers consistently show that they put the highest value on sales people who make them think, who bring new ideas, who find creative and innovative ways to help the customer. Customers are wanting more depth and expertise. They expect salespeople to teach them things that they don’t know.
These are the core skills of optical practitioners, skills of the future.
“How you sell has become more important than what you sell” (Professor Neil Rackham)