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The Sales Evangelist

Relationships, Rejection, Donald C. Kelly

Have you ever wondered how to not ruin relationships when selling to friends? This can be difficult because you would still want to keep the relationship even when they’ve said no. 

This isn’t a unique struggle, it’s common to most salespeople. Perhaps the products could be beneficial to your friend or family so you want them to try it. You have a moral obligation to at least explain some ways to fix their problem without turning it into something bigger. 

Solve the true problem 

Assess whether what you have is truly a solution to their problem. You can’t sell a car to your friends when they already have one that is running in perfect condition. Even when you’ve told them about the new features of the car you’re selling, they’re not going to get one because they have a good car that runs just fine. What you presented to them isn’t a solution because there wasn’t a problem in the first place. 

It is important for you to seek out whether there is a problem and figure out what it is before you present your product. 

Be genuine 

Do not present a solution that would benefit you; rather, give them a solution that would benefit them. 

Perhaps their car needs fixing and they are spending way too much for the repair. This is a great time for you to share the features of the car you’re selling. If they don’t have the income to purchase it, then help them get the income by looking for a credit union. 

That genuine heart helps build trust and your friends will potentially lead you to other people with similar problems. The people you’ve helped will come back to you and buy from you again later on.  

Do not pitch something to your family or friends because your sales manager told you to do so. Don’t approach them with the mindset that they’ll buy your product because they feel guilty. 

Consider your approach 

Always set the rules before you play the game. Consider your approach and be straightforward. Because they are the people you are close with, you have the benefit of honesty from them. Before you make your pitch, remind them that if they are not interested, there’s no need to beat around the bush and that the relationship stays the same regardless of their choice.

Once they understand that, then you can move on with your pitch. Put emphasis on the fact that you are willing to help with their problems. If their car isn’t working well and they are spending too much for repair every week, tell them that they can go to another car salesperson. You are merely giving them options on how they can address their problems. 

Don’t approach them like you would any other clients. Instead, approach them in a loving way. People recognize trust and love and if you use that approach to your friends and families then you’ve unlocked one great strategy on how to not ruin relationships when selling to friends

No isn’t always a No

Many salespeople keep selling even when the person has said no. This happens a lot because in sales, it is about the numbers and others take it to another level. As a salesperson, you need to have a threshold.

Most sales reps, however,  see a list of names to reach out without knowing who these people are or their concerns. They see names and they see numbers automatically. They don’t look at the names as individuals who might be facing some personal issues at the moment. 

Studies have shown that 92% of salespeople give up after getting a NO without realizing that 60% of consumers say no four times before saying yes. Some say no because they are busy or they aren’t a fit for what the salesperson is offering. 

If someone is in the right market and they fall under the criteria of your ideal customer profile, then they do have a problem that you can solve. You have a moral obligation to at least explain it to them, and not just once. 

Change your approach from someone who just wants to set an appointment and talk about the product to someone who wants to help them and educate them to overcome a challenge they are facing. 

Build relationships

The Sales Evangelist, for example, is virtually everywhere and we’ve been sharing a stream of content on a regular basis. We are found in every platform where our ideal customers may be. We are on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. People may have not expressed their interest now but they are individuals that we can follow up and put into other sequences for us to reach out. 

If they aren’t ready to buy this month, then connect with them and ask them if they are willing to receive educational information. If no, then let them go and if yes, then look for ways that you can continue educating them. 

Don’t pitch them the product when they’re not yet ready to get it but maintain a relationship and to do a follow-up after enough time. Remember to stay in touch. 

Nurture that relationship until such time that it picks up. 

A portion of that 60% who said no to you will eventually make a yes if you stick around and pitch in the perfect timing. So, build a relationship with those individuals in a loving way and be present in whatever means or platform they like to digest your content. 

“How to Not Ruin Relationships When Selling to Friends” episode resources

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About the Author The Sales Evangelist

Donald is the host of the popular sales podcast,"The Sales Evangelist". He is the founder of The Sales Evangelist Consulting Firm where he helps small companies develop killer sales process to scale their business and increase growth.

Donald is also an award-winning speaker, sales trainer, and coach. He's a big fan of traveling, South Florida staycations and high-quality family time. Donald has a belief that “anyone” can sell if they have the desire and receives the proper training.

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