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In business, the hard stuff is the soft stuff. The soft stuff is the hard stuff. This statement couldn’t be any more true when it comes to relationships and selling effectively.

As a salesperson, you are first and foremost a relationships manager. It is through relationships that you open and advance opportunities.

Sales With Relationships

Imagine that you need a commitment from your dream client. You have deep relationships within this dream client company. You have spent time getting to know these contacts and you have spent time getting to know their organization.

You have long established trusting, warm, open, friendly relationships that are built on your having shared ideas that create value for them, on your having created value before claiming any, and on you proving yourself as a someone worth doing business with. You have opened relationships and made deposits in them.

When you have the relationships, how easy is it to ask for and obtain the commitments you need? How easy is it to ask for the commitment of their time? How easy is it to ask for the commitment to share information with you?

How easy is it to get the commitment for an audience so you can share your ideas, your thoughts, and your ideas about what you might be able to do to make a difference for your dream client?

Is there someone within your dream client that will take your call? Are there a number of people with who have relationships that are strong enough that they will sponsor you and act as your champion?

Or, maybe you want to go without relationships.

Sales Without Relationships

Imagine you need the same commitment from another dream client. They don’t know you. You have no real relationships within the company, and you have spent no time getting to know the people, their company, their needs, or their challenges.

You have done nothing to establish trust, and the only way that you are known is that you have somehow shown up asking for a commitment of their time and for a lot of information they aren’t comfortable sharing with strangers. You have done nothing to create value before claiming any. You are suspect.

Your requests aren’t bolstered by a strong relationship. You don’t have the relationships that underlie the trust that enables asking for and obtaining commitments.

The Long Way and the Short Cut

The shortest way to winning your dream client comes from spending the time developing the relationships that you need to win.

What feels like a shortcut, going straight for obtaining your objective without the relationships is actually the long way; instead, you lose an opportunity, disappear for a couple years, then you show back up to lose again.

You are a relationship manager. The shortest way to winning is to develop relationships, to invest in those relationships, and to create value before claiming any.

All things being equal, relationship win. All things being unequal, relationships still win.


How do relationships make it easier to win and succeed with your dream clients?

How do you ensure you have the relationships you need to win your dream client?

What do you to open and build the relationships you need?

What problems do you encounter when you need commitments and don’t have the relationships?

Sales 2011
Post by Anthony Iannarino on July 6, 2011

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

Anthony Iannarino

Anthony Iannarino is an American writer. He has published daily at thesalesblog.com for more than 14 years, amassing over 5,300 articles and making this platform a destination for salespeople and sales leaders. Anthony is also the author of four best-selling books documenting modern sales methodologies and a fifth book for sales leaders seeking revenue growth. His latest book for an even wider audience is titled, The Negativity Fast: Proven Techniques to Increase Positivity, Reduce Fear, and Boost Success.

Anthony speaks to sales organizations worldwide, delivering cutting-edge sales strategies and tactics that work in this ever-evolving B2B landscape. He also provides workshops and seminars. You can reach Anthony at thesalesblog.com or email Beth@b2bsalescoach.com.

Connect with Anthony on LinkedIn, X or Youtube. You can email Anthony at iannarino@gmail.com

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