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Stop Selling and Start Relating: A Three-Tiered Approach to Build Your Business


Have you ever thought about what motivates people to buy from you? While some sales gurus may preach the “always be selling” approach, understanding your market and their reasons for buying is necessary for success in sales. With the growth of social media as a vehicle to market your business, it is even more important to understand how to use these tools and follow best practices to protect your brand. 

Discover Why Your Customers Buy From You

You may have heard the phrase “People don’t like to be sold but they love to buy!” by bestselling author, Jeffrey Gitomer.  In his book, Little Red Book of Selling, he shares the following 10 reasons why people will buy from you.

  1. I like you.
  2. I understand what I am buying.
  3. I perceive a value in the product / service.
  4. I have confidence in you.
  5. I trust and believe you.
  6. I feel there is a fit between my needs and the product/service.
  7. The price is fair.
  8. I perceive the product / service will increase my productivity.
  9. I perceive the product / service will increase my profits.
  10. I perceive my sales person is trying to help build my business.

Do you know why your customers buy from you? Your job is to find a link or connection between what you do and what they need. If you don’t know the reason, you need to ask.

Follow the Five Habits for Success

If people don’t want to be sold, then your role is to help them buy. People do business with people, not brands, so creating habits that will provide opportunities for relationships to form will help you transition into the “assistant buyer” role and away from being perceived as a pushy salesperson.

  1. Attitude Counts. Having a great attitude will allow you to focus on the people first, not making the sale. Do you really believe that your prospect continues to think about your product or about how sharp your presentation was, day in and day out?  Do you suppose the prospect comes in to work the morning after your visit and thinks, “gee – how long do I have to wait until I can meet up again with that salesperson I saw yesterday?” Remember, life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.
  2. Always Do Your Homework and See the Big Picture. Understand your customer by creating a detailed customer profile. Know about their likes and dislikes, interests, hobbies, etc. Research your competition and understand what value proposition you bring to your customer relationship. And ask questions!
  3. Plan for Success. Do you set SMART goals for your business? Writing down your goals makes them real and helps you plan for each day, week, month, and year. They should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Based. Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.
  4. Tell the Truth, Always. Your integrity and transparency is important to establishing trust. Plus, it’s easier to remember!
  5. Follow Time Management Strategies. Many struggle creating a habit of using their time wisely, yet we all know there are only 24 hours in a day, and we can’t create more time! Creating a plan will help you to prioritize your activities. One of the easiest ways to keep your focus is to ask “Is this activity getting me closer to my goals or farther away from them?”

Implement a Social Media Relationship Strategy

Businesses can use social media to understand their customers and engage with their fans and followers. Social media is not about selling. Businesses need to be aware that the power of social media is to give you the opportunity to be the assistant buyer by using these tools to foster relationships with your prospects and customers.

Another opportunity is to use social media to enhance your offline networking. My article, Strategic Networking in a Social World, outlines the steps to make networking a better return on your investment of time and money.


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