Dan Waldschmidt

by Dan Waldschmidt

December 10, 2012

The Real Reason Why Relationship Selling Doesn’t Work.

You’ve been told time and time again that sales success comes down to trust and relationships. If buyers don’t trust you, they won’t buy from you. That is usually true. If you don’t have a relationship with the buyer, they won’t buy from you. That’s sometimes true.

But what’s ridiculous and misleading about this entire discussion is how you go about building trust and relationships.

The current relationship selling model is horribly broken.

You’ve been told that you need a packed schedule of lunch meetings, cocktail parties, and other “personal excursions” to convince clients that you’re a person they should do business with — the wine-and-dine model.

And certainly, likeability does matter in life. We all avoid jerks as often as we can.  But being likable isn’t a sales strategy though. Neither is building relationships.

That’s because human beings are complicated creatures.

We like certain things at certain times for certain reasons. And then at a moment’s notice all of that can change.

What we think is certain is really uncertainty.

So working towards relationship as a primary sales strategy is unreliable. It’s just not a smart, predictable plan for success.

Your client’s uncertainty combined with your momentary uncertainty make for frustratingly unproductive efforts.

You being fake just adds to the chaos. The problem with most sales relationships is that the only exist as long as money exist.  The reason for the relationship is money. So is the motivation for maintaining the relationship.

It’s not genuine interest or empathy or companionship. It’s just a deal.

And that makes the uncertainty even more uncertain.

When your client thinks he has a relationship with you and you think you just have “a deal”, things can unravel pretty quickly.

No one likes to be taken advantage of. Adding money to the mix just makes that feeling worse.

That’s why relationship selling is broken. Because the relationships themselves are broken. Most of them were never really created in the first place.

Instead of trying to build relationships, work on being an empathetic person.

Genuinely care about those around you.

Realize the human intangibles that impact decision-making from everyone you meet.

You can keep trying to “fake it until you make it”. But that just means you’ll probably never end up “making it.”

Care more. That just works better.

About the author

Dan Waldschmidt

Dan Waldschmidt doesn’t just talk about leveling up. He’s obsessed with it. He's set records as an ultra-runner and been the personal strategist for the leading business leaders of our time. He wrote a book, called EDGY Conversations that accidentally became a worldwide bestseller and continues to share his insights from the stage as a keynote speaker and on the blogs and podcasts you will find here. Most days, you'll find Dan heads-down, working on breakthrough strategies for his clients at EDGY Inc, a highly-focused, invite-only, business strategy execution company based out of Silicon Valley.