When Is A Relationship Manager Not A Relationship Manager?

– Posted in: Relationship Manager

When you say you’re a relationship manager, what do you mean to convey? Are you offering a different skill set as a relationship manager than you would as a sales professional?

For just a moment, consider that your job is, net net, to help buyers choose your solution over the competition and keep them happy enough to keep choosing you over the competition. Since it’s so much easier to keep a client than it is to close a new one, offer a benefit that will serve your prospects and clients over time.

I’ve developed Buying Facilitation® — a decision facilitation and consensus management tool that ensures buyers address all of the non-solution-related issues they must handle before they can make a purchase. Here’s an example: when a software client of mine was waiting for a deal to close with a sales group, he wasn’t aware the tech guys had an outsourcing issue to handle to have the time and capacity to bring in a new piece of software. Until that problem was resolved, they couldn’t buy; my client had them in his pipeline for months.

Although the prospect obviously needed the solution, and had a great relationship with the seller, the outsourcing problem was a hidden sticking point. Using the sales model (a solution placement model that overlooks the consensus and buy-in issues buyer must contend with), the seller had no knowledge of the outsourcing issue in the tech department; using Buying Facilitation® he was able to find the problem in moments and facilitate the buyer in figuring out how to fix the problems so they could buy. It was a change management problem, not a solution choice problem.

Be the sort of relationship manager who helps buyers facilitate change. That will take you out of the competition, and position you to serve your clients over time – and keep them.

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