Join Jeff Bloomfield for an in-depth discussion in this video Transactional vs. relational selling, part of The Science of Sales.
- Recently, my wife and I decided to move our personal banking to the same bank that we have our businesses with. We have a great relationship with our business banker and although we'd be dealing with someone new on the personal side, we though it would make most sense to have everything under one roof. Now, I could've simply read online about what accounts or additional services we needed and signed up but I wanted to better understand what options were available for us. So, I set the meeting with the personal alliance banker. Within the first five minutes of our meeting I was amazed at the stark contrasting differences between our business banker and this new personal banker, and not in a good way.
She was cold, short with responses, and simply wanted to read us off a list of facts and their products, and then upsell us in the products anyone could see that we didn't need. It was literally like dealing with a robot. We would ask a question and she would answer by describing a new product. It was awful. In fact, if I didn't have such a good impression of the bank by dealing with the business side I would've literally walked out and kept my accounts with the old bank. What is it about these contrasting styles that is such a dramatic impact on us as buyers? It's the concept of Transactional versus Relational Communication.
Let me explain further. When a sales person communicates and operates from a Transactional perspective, it subconsciously communicates to the buyer that they just don't really matter. It sends signals that the salesperson is really only interested in making the sale of gaining the transaction. In contrast, a Relational salesperson is highly skilled in interpersonal communication and understands that the buyer seller relationship is the primary vehicle that will build trust. The Relational salesperson is typically a great listener with high empathy and connecting skills.
They make the buyer feel like they actually care about them as a person. They come across to the buyer that the relationship is more imporant to them than the sale. Typically, the more complicated or involved the product or service is the more critical it is that a salesperson is Relational versus Transactional. However, in my experience even in the commoditized product world is the salespeople with the deepest relationships that have the most success. Let's look at the characteristics of the two types and as we go through them I want you to honestly critique yourself as a salesperson to see which category you might lean towards.
Transactional salespeople make idle chitchat in the beginning of a sales meeting but quickly attempt to turn the conversation to the products they sell. In contrast, Relational salespeople take the time to genuinely get to know the buyer and have personal conversations that allow them to be perceived as caring, honest, and trustworthy. Transactional salespeople tend to ask leading questions in a veiled attempt to lead the buyer into their net so they can jump on them with all the facts and figures of their product.
In contrast, Relational salespeople ask insightful questions that help the buyer uncover all the various aspects of their issue and the true impact the issue's having. Transactional salespeople tend to follow the ABC, always be closing sales model, which tends to make the buyer uncomfortable, and usually leads to distrust. In contrast, Relational salespeople tend to also follow an ABC model but theirs is always be connecting.
They're continually demonstrating care, connection, and empathy with the buyer in a genuine desire to help them solve their problem. Transactional salespeople sell what they have to offer whereas Relational salespeople sell why they do what they do and why it matters to the buyer. So, how'd you do on the evaluation? As a salesperson, it's hard not to be Transactional. Relational communication requires us to be continually focused on the viewing the world through the lens of our buyer.
If you do, you will notice a stark improvement not just in your ability to connect but in your sales results.
- Understanding the trust continuum and the trust matrix
- The three-layered brain and five neuro-elements
- Creating connections
- Establishing credibility
- Handling objections