Jill Konrath


Jill's Jottings: Fresh Sales Strategies 

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[Video] #1 Rule for Building Relationships With Customers


Are buyer's expectations of salespeople changing? They sure are. Today's crazy-busy prospects have raised their standards in the past few years. If you just want to talk with them about your product or service, they have absolutely no time for you. All that information is on the Internet -- and they can read it on their own time. They don't need you for that.

Today's buyers expect you to have an understanding of their business, their industry or their profession. They want you to be a knowledgeable asset for them -- someone who can bring them ideas, insights and information that will help them run their business better.

If you fail to personally add value -- you simply not worth meeting with. And, telling them about your product or service is not valuable to them. They may meet with you once, but that's it.

In the past year, the bar has been raised. If you're not continually learning, growing and bringing more to the buyer-seller relationship, you are replaceable. If you don't want that to happen -- start focusing on becoming the differentiator. Make yourself so invaluable that they can't live without you.developing relationships with customers

How do you add value to the buyer-seller relationship? Share your comments!

Jill KonrathJill Konrath is an internationally recognized sales strategist. As author of two bestselling books, SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies, she's a frequent speaker at sales meetings and conferences. For more fresh ideas, download her free Prospecting Toolkit.


Completely agree that the bar has been raised, and underscore your point about "all that information is on the internet – they can read that on their own." 
One way to be more helpful is to embrace that trend, rather than resist it, or bemoan our fates, as many sellers do. Instead, be the one in your industry who aggressively offers up-front information.  
The reason is buyers don't want to deal with sellers to get data – they fear manipulation. When they DO want to talk to sellers is when they need perspective, or advice, or complex evaluations. So, don't begrudge them the basic stuff – give it to them so that they feel comfortable, even eager, to call you for the complex stuff, because they can then talk to you fully informed, confident that you're not going to manipulate basic information.
Posted @ Wednesday, December 05, 2012 11:20 AM by Charles H. Green
Dropping off Donuts is Dead! Agreed you must add value.  
The interesting thing about the internet is that it has also conditioned buyers to expect instant information,when they want it, for free. And they even don't have time for that because reading takes too much effort. 
As marketers and sales people, we need to know that the next step of getting information is getting personalized service in an internet like mode, or from the experts at the company selling a service or product. In many cases all prospects want is to talk to a human, ask them a question, but aren't ready for the buying cycle to begin. For example, this may occur when a prospect is budgeting for a project next year and just want to know a placeholder price for their budget. I call this trend, “Access to Experts.” They will move from finding it on line to a mode where they want the online experience with a person.  
This has ramifications for the sales cycle as well as inbound inquiries. The customer wants to control the buying process and just wants the information they need but no more. 
Google: Trend Spotting: Access to Experts to see more on the subject.
Posted @ Wednesday, December 05, 2012 2:07 PM by Lee Stocking
Thanks for the advice. I get the same advice from Seth Godin's book Linchpin. You both help me a lot. :)
Posted @ Friday, December 07, 2012 7:39 AM by Kent
Jill, your quick snippets of sales tips are perfect ways to start the sales day. I have been is sales a long time, yet your comments always cut to the basics and leave me with something I can use on the next call.
Posted @ Tuesday, December 11, 2012 11:57 AM by Art Colts
Thanks, Jill! This fits really well with advice I give students, teachers, and speakers: if we think our primary value lies in standing at the front of a room and transferring information, we are in serious trouble. The context and connection that "out loud" provides has become the primary reason for it, since simply getting information on the Internet has become cheaper and easier than attending a live presentation. It makes sense the same thing would be true for one-to-one sales. 
The thing is to realize that the context and connection we can bring either one-to-one or from a platform are truly valuable and go well beyond the value of the information anyway! Thanks for the insight!
Posted @ Tuesday, December 11, 2012 3:21 PM by Donn King
My clients and prospects are all in marketing and sales...so, I add value by forwarding your emails and tweeting your posts to my followers.
Posted @ Tuesday, December 11, 2012 6:31 PM by Danny Mack
I agree getting the information out there is important best use all avenues if possible. People don't want to pay for basic information they just want it available when they want it. That is why the internet has become so important.
Posted @ Monday, January 14, 2013 7:09 PM by Norma J Wonser
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