A friend of mine, Richard Marcus, is a sales trainer who got my attention recently. He said that “back in the day” sales people spent 80% of their time presenting and closing. And today, successful sales people spend 80% of their time building rapport and building trust.

“Back in the day” is prior to 2008. Anything written about business before that date may very well be obsolete. I would agree. And Richard’s observation I think is perfectly true.

If you’re like me and Richard, customers are the result of our meeting with people and building some rapport and trust.


mom-photoWhat did your mother tell you about talking to strangers? Mine too. Did any mom advise any differently? And so, when we meet with a prospect for the first time, what are we? We are perilously close to being strangers. And yet, too often, as our sales managers’ push, we go for the sale? or the no, and we try to believe that each “no” brings us one step closer to a sale. Stop it please. Not at the first meeting. At the first meeting let’s get to know each other a little. Let’s erase the stigma of being strangers. Then at the next meeting, at which we will NOT be strangers, then, we can talk a little business. Our moms will feel better.