In a recent discussion with a colleague about relationship building in sales, he shared a great story. He was on a train to see a client and was reading a book on snooker. His colleague (A technical sales person) noticed and asked ‘You like snooker?’. He replied with a resounding no. ‘Then why are you reading that book’ was the perplexed follow-up question. ‘Because my client loves snooker’
He went on to relate how the sales meeting, with a customer who had always been cold toward him went, they spent the first 20 minutes talking about the snooker championship on the weekend and he spent the time learning more about the game and why his client was passionate about the sport.
It seems so obvious, but so many salespeople just don’t understand how to build relationships that are meaningful.
As an aside, I told that with my new UK team and found out afterward that as I was walking through the story half the people were saying ‘who is snooker?’. It would appear that the UK pronounce it ‘snooooooker’, not ‘snooker’. Separated by a common language.