Steve Andersen and Dave Stein: Building Long Term Customer Relationships By Moving Beyond the Sales Process – Episode #58

May 20, 2016 Anthony Iannarino | Sales coach, Business coach, Sales professional, Author

According to Steve Andersen and Dave Stein, most salespeople make a vital mistake in the way they approach sales: They think of the sell itself as a short-term gain rather than look to a long-term gain that will sustain relationship and ongoing sales. In this insightful conversation Anthony speaks with Steve and Dave about their new book, “Beyond the Sales Process” and how they are bringing a new approach to the sales process through looking to that long gain. Why a sale has to be seen a long-term gain. It’s very easy and natural to think of a sale as a short-term gain. You get the contract signed and go back to your office, high-fiving everyone in sight, feeling great about yourself and the world. But you have to go out tomorrow and do it again, right? That reality will never change but the mindset behind what that individual sale means should change - you need to see it as the beginning of a longer process, the building of a relationship and the positioning of yourself and your company in a way that makes you an advocate to your customers. In this conversation Anthony gets into the nuts and bolts of that pivotal mindset shift with authors Steve Andersen and Dave Stein. You need to know your customer’s answers to these questions. Dave Stein and Steve Andersen suggest 4 revealing questions that every salesperson should be asking themselves and their customers in order to discover if they have positioned themselves and their company correctly in the minds of their customers. And they insist that the sales professional not simply ask the questions FOR their customers, but that they ask them OF their customers. You need your customer’s honest feedback to these questions to make sure you have an accurate sense of whether your customers value you as you want them to value you. You can hear all 4 questions and how they help you build long term customer relationships on this episode of In The Arena. Define your sales success through your customer’s eyes. You don’t really know how successful you are as a sales professional if you don’t know how your existing customers view you and your company. Do they see you as a vendor or a partner? Is their relationship with you one that they can’t live without or one they could do away with when a cheaper or slicker offer comes along? When you’re able to get under your customer’s skin to understand their perception of you, you have something to work on to position yourself where you want to be as their business partner. You’ll either position yourself or be positioned, which do you think is better? Find out how to be in charge of your own position from this episode. What is the value you’re bringing to your customer’s customer? Too many salespeople are short-sighted, thinking only about the things they can do for their customer. While it’s very important to know that, you also want to put yourself in your customer’s shoes so you can understand what they value - and just like you, they value what they are able to do for their customer. One of the ways you can be of greatest value to them is by understanding what they are trying to provide to their customers and positioning yourself to be their best asset in getting that done. It’s part of the long-term gain of sales that you’ll learn to think about and implement from this episode of In The Arena. Outline of this great episode [4:25] Anthony’s introduction to Steve and Dave and their new book “Beyond the Sales Process.” [6:13] The gap Steve and Dave are trying to close for salespeople. [8:57] Why sales is a long-term gain. [12:23] A better way to hit your sales numbers than going customer to customer. [16:23] The vital questions sales professionals need to ask their customers to build long-term relationships. [20:55] Defining your sales success through your customer’s eyes. [23:02] How to collaborate with your customers and prospects for greater success.

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