Are Relationships Important in Sales?

Those of you who know me understand that I am a bit of an analytic: I love data.

That’s one reason I focus on Dave Kurlan and The Objective Management Group articles in my newsletters.

And this month is no exception.

I have said that, today (in contrast to the 60’s, 70’s 80’s, etc.), relationships have never been less important; good for getting an opportunity but not so much for closing business. Is that statement correct?

Well, let’s look more closely.

How does one define “relationship”?

Is it that people buy from people they like: friends?

Is it that salespeople want to build a “relationship” because they like to be liked?

Is it that a sales process should value rapport, listening and effective communication?

Is the relationship a key factor in closing?

Kulan and OMG have data on more than 1.7 million salespeople. He looked at 450,000 salespeople in this analysis of relationships, the need to be liked and it’s impact sales performance. That’s a huge sample size!

This article has some of the graphs that contain the data. I won’t give everything away, but here are a few of key findings:

86% of the weakest salespeople DO need to be liked, but only 42% of them have a relationship-based sales process and 84% – most of them – believe that the relationship is the key factor.

Only 11% of the best salespeople, the top 5%, need to be liked.

And most have a relationship based sales process

Only 1% to the best salespeople believe that relationship is a key factor to closing the business.

The top salespeople DON’T NEED to be liked but are conscious of the importance of developing a relationship during the sales process.  They know how (mechanical) but don’t need to (emotional).

Are relationships important: sure.

Check the link to see lots more detail.




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