Some sales approaches have seemingly been retired for newer approaches in recent years. Things like cold calling and transactional selling have been put aside — especially in the age of artificial intelligence. Mike Kunkle, a sales expert and founder of Transforming Sales Results, LLC, doesn’t think these sales approaches are totally useless now, but he does feel they need to be modernized.

Through his career working in sales effectiveness roles, Kunkle has learned a few things about sales relationships. In this issue of PromoPro Daily, we highlight some of his top takeaways when it comes to relationships in modern selling.

1. Know what clients want from the relationship. You should always understand your customers’ challenges, opportunities, impacts, needs, outcomes and priorities, Kunkle says, as well as need and solution alignment. However, it’s also important to know what the buyers want from a supplier/partner. Ask, clarify and confirm. Kunkle says this alone can differentiate you.

2. The best relationship wins. Following the tip above can be a key differentiator, but it may not be enough. The buyer’s personality and other situational factors will come into play. And keep in mind, Kunkle says, that some prospects will still choose to work with someone they know, like and trust, even if they don’t necessarily have the best solution.

3. There’s always emotion and logic involved. Kunkle says people make decisions emotionally and justify these decisions with logic. They seek out what’s trustworthy and credible and then look for the logic in their choice.

4. Professional and personal aspects matter. This applies to you and the others at your company or partners with whom your buyers will work, Kunkle says. It’s important to know your buyers’ and customers’ value drivers. They may include things like aspirational plans or personal motivators. Always aim to be buyer- and customer-centric, he advises.

5. Never overlook branding. Remember that customers can have a relationship with your company too, Kunkle says. This is why your branding matters so much. Think about how people feel about the brands they are loyal to. These brands can evoke powerful emotions that lead to brand loyalty. Aim to create a brand that resonates with your target audience.

Sales relationships today may still involve traditional things like golf outings and dinners, but they should always be built on a foundation of true bonds. These are what Kunkle calls the “human differentiators.” By considering the observations above, you can build a solid foundation in today’s evolving sales environment.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Mike Kunkle is a recognized expert on sales enablement, sales effectiveness and sales transformation. He is the founder of Transforming Sales Results, LLC.