Do Relationships Really Matter In Sales?
It's all about the relationship.
The client loves us - we've invested a lot in this relationship.
Our relationship is so deep, it will carry us through this RFP.
We tend to accept the concept of "Relationship as The Absolute Solution" as a truism. But is it a truism? Should we accept it as universally applicable?
For example, does relationship trump value? (I don't mean price, I mean value. If your relationship comes down to price alone, that's a red flag.)
Yes? OK, let's then argue that it does - but by how much?
In other words, at what point does the value disparity become so apparent that the nature and quality of your relationship comes into question?
That's tough to answer - because it forces you to look at your own offering and determine if you're better than your competition. And if you are, by how much? Can you quantify it? It goes without saying that it's important to be objective in this assessment. It isn't about opinions, but facts and figures, derived from market realities and experiences.
And then, on that objective basis, assuming there is a material difference, whether your relationships will carry the day.
In other words, placing a bet. If that's the case, I think we're better off not being gamblers.
Note that I'm not suggesting relationships aren't important. They are. But are they the end-all and be-all? The holy grail we tend to claw our way towards? I don't think so.
Relationships matter, but don't make the mistake of banking on them.