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Mercury Professional Development, Inc. | Phoenix, AZ

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Dear Mary: I’ve been in sales for 4 years. Yet I still struggle to navigate effectively between a transactional sale and a relational sale. How can I effectively bond with my prospects to tilt my sales engagements to be more relational?

--- Selling at the surface

Dear Selling at the surface, We are all familiar with transactional sales- we do it all the time. We might purchase something from a big box store– arrive, shop, stand in line, pay and leave. No relationship established. It’s all about the transaction.

No one really cares about anything other than rushing to the next thing on our list. It sounds like too many of your sales fit this mold, and you’re hoping for a more engaging sales strategy. The key is understanding when to be transactional and how to cultivate the relational sale. Most are familiar with the concepts, but only a few know how to cultivate.

Bonding with your prospect is the best way …. to create a longevity with your client. For all the effort we put into developing and engaging a prospect, why would we abandon this investment after a single transaction? It’s not fair to either us or our client.We all know this, but do you bond transactionally or relationally? Relational selling starts with creating a deeper bond with the person you are engaged with.

We need to understand their “why”, before we can solve their how.

This means having a comprehensive understanding of their emotional reasons to buy, connecting with those reasons and collaborating for as positive outcome. It seems simple – we are told all the time – get the clients “pain,” Do a “needs analysis” or a deep dive into their business. But are we actually doing it? Every time? Do we know their emotional reasons for doing what they are doing? Are we really getting true “pain” or just pain indicators?

If we stop at surface “pain”, we’re still simply being transactional. Pain indicators typically sound like the person is interested or have a need. Many times, we get fooled into thinking we found pain. But have we? Have they explained their why? Or do we assume we know it?

Sandler Rule: The problem the prospect brings you is never the real problem. Prospects do not readily reveal their real reasons as they do their surface issues. Typically, we will protect ourselves and not be transparent or become vulnerable to reveal our true intent. Ask more questions to reveal the true pain. Demonstrate empathy and nurture the prospect as you dig deeper. Engage the prospect at this deeper level, and you’ll not only get real pain, but you’ll get a real connection. A real bond. So, if we stay on the surface and treat our prospects as a transaction then why do we expect a relational response? It all starts with bonding.

Mary Crisci, Certified Sandler Trainer, Sandler by Mercury

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