Use Your Interpersonal Selling Skills
Interpersonal selling skills are very similar to the good interpersonal skills. "What are good sales skills?" Most people associate this with a bubbly outgoing personality? Someone who could sell ice to Eskimos? Perhaps they even think of a fast talking car salesman? Our perception of a good sales person is someone that can get an individual to do what they want. It takes a distinct personality to do that. It also yields only short term results.
Interpersonal sales skills build long lasting relationships built on value and everyone is capable of doing it. I have over 10 years of sales management experience in several different industries. I have seen great personalities accomplish results early, but people that utilize interpersonal selling skills have built careers. The same skills build long lasting value in our personal lives.
Indentifying value for you is the easy part. Anyone can find a potential customer who uses the goods or services we are selling. Identifying the value you can bring to the relationship requires interpersonal selling abilities. Fortunately, it is the same as talking to your friend of many years. Asking open ended questions will allow you to gather information. If you listen, you may find an opportunity to create value for the individual. The old saying "Don't Ask, Don't Get" isn't just for sales, but it applies equally to your interpersonal skills. You must ask to get the information you need. Open ended questions that cannot be answered with "Yes" or "No" create a wealth of information and opportunity for more questions.
Interpersonal skills require commitment. If you have identified the opportunity and determined that you can create value in the relationship, then time and effort is needed to develop the relationship. You must prioritize your time so your efforts are spent in the relationships you receive and create the most value just as in your personal relationships. I have seen many sales people invest all of their time in the relationships where they receive the greatest value, but not where they create the most value. This may result in short term results, but not long standing relationships. It is important to look at value over time and not just short term.
As you develop your relationships you must follow up. That's right; you have to do what you say you're going to do. If you simply follow up with the things you say you will do in your business and personal lives, you will be amazed at the trust and respect it will create. That's value! It didn't take me years to start doing what I said I would, but it took me years to stop saying I would do something I knew I wouldn't. Follow up builds trust in a relationship and sends a clear message that you value the relationship. I am amazed every day as I see businesses clearly not follow up with their customers. I'm sure many more do not follow up in their personal lives. Remember that following up is value in itself!
It seems simple, but a few interpersonal selling skills will go a long way building valuable relationships in your business and personal careers. Some of us have more outgoing personalities than others. Some of us are more analytical than others. We are all capable of asking a few questions to see where we can create value in a relationship where we feel there is an opportunity to receive value. We are all capable of committing the time and effort to develop a relationship. We are all capable of following up and doing what we say we are going to do. We all have interpersonal selling skills!
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