The term Relationship Manager came into being when companies no longer wanted to call their sales reps ‘Sellers’. It’s the acceptable term now, and means to denote a service provider who gives special attention to clients. But is it so special when everyone calls themselves a Relationship Manager regardless of the level of care they take? The level of follow up they provide? It’s hard to tell prospects, “Well, I’m a really GOOD Relationship Manager, not like the other folks who just call themselves that. I REALLY mean it!” Um… Right.
Here’s a thought: what if you really prove that you do care, and really do differentiate, yourself by making yourself competitive and unique. What if you became a facilitator that helps buyers manage the sorts of things they must handle outside a seller’s purview – like actually helping buyers assemble all the right folks who should be involved in a project at the beginning to ensure buy-in and diminish resistance? or facilitating consensus around your solution implementation? or facilitating agreement from the department heads?
Think about learning Buying Facilitation®. Not a sales skill, per se, but an actual facilitation skill that works with the behind-the-scenes issues buyers must address to get the buy-in to move forward (it’s what you wait for when the sales cycle is so long…but you aren’t involved as its hidden). It’s a facilitation skill that enables resistance-free consensus, buy-in, and implementations. It can be added to your sales skills to enhance the ways you serve your buyers.
You can be a conventional Relationship Manager and compete with everyone else. Or you can add facilitation skills to your current skill set, and take yourself out of the competition while making it easy for them to choose to do business with you time and time again.