Sunday, January 15, 2006

The Friendship Factor

The Selling Process
In selling, we know that there are three parts to the process. These are, first, establishing rapport with the prospective customer, second, identifying the problem or need that the prospective customer has and, third, presenting the solution. These are the ethos, the pathos and the logos of selling to someone.

Build Good Relationships
Your success in every area of life will be based largely on the quality and quantity of relationships that you can initiate and develop over time. In the world of business and sales today, relationships are everything. We often call this the “friendship factor.” We have discovered that a person will not do business with you until he or she is convinced that you are his or her friend and are acting in his or her best interest. In other words, you cannot influence someone unless he or she likes you in some way. Of course, it’s often possible for you to influence a person if he fears you, but that type of influence lasts only until the person can rearrange his situation and escape from the circumstances that enable you to have control over him.

How To Influence and Persuade Others
The way to influence people, then, is to earn their liking and respect, to appeal to the friendship factor. This requires spending time with him, caring for him and respecting him. The more time that you are willing to spend with the person, the greater will be his tendency to trust you and to feel that you are acting in his best interest. The more obvious it is that you care about the person, about what he really needs, the more likely it is that he will be open to your influence. This is even more important in your personal relationships, with your family and friends. The more that people feel you care about them, the more open they will be to your influence.

Here's what you should do during a first-time meeting in a business or sales situation:

First, slow down when you first meet a person in a business or sales situation. Take some time to build a relationship with him or her before you proceed to business matters.

Second, appeal to the friendship factor that underlies all good business and personal relationships. Ask questions about the person and his or her life and concerns. Listen attentively to the answers. Focus on the relationship first.

Excerpt from "The Friendship Factor" By Brian Tracy

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