Death of a Salesman?
Over the next two weeks, you will see 3 posts from me journaling a road trip I undertook this summer, meeting with some of the key exhibitor/sponsors of our association, and a few prospects whom weâ€™ve identified as potential strategic partners. My goal is to share some real stories about the challenges and opportunities that I have encountered when trying to build strong, lasting partnerships with key supporters. I hope also to get feedback from many of you.
It is my firm belief that many associations do not focus on the sales process enough. I also believe that no matter what type or kind of association you work in, and really no matter what your position is, a focus on the principles that guide the sales process can help you in your work. These principles include:
- Friendly, open communication, always looking for added value
- Qualification--is it a good fit for you, and you for them?
- Identifying a need
- Proposing a solution
- Follow up and consensus-building
- Closing the "sale"
- Deliver what you promised, maintain and grow the relationship
I have to admit, itâ€™s a little frustrating when I post blog entries and get no feedback; let's try and break the record of the last 3 months, I'd like to see if we can reach 15 replies, answering any of these questions:
- Why do I hear association professionals talk a lot about marketing, but less about sales?
- Who is the best salesperson you know, and why?
- How are fundraising and sales similar? How are they different?
- Why do some people hate being asked to 'sell' something to someone else? What first comes into your mind when you are asked to sell something?
- Why do we always focus on new ideas for non-dues revenue, and less on upselling or increasing the investment from current players?
- Can the sales process apply to volunteer recruitment?
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