There are two kinds of selling: transactional and relationship.

Transactional sales

Takes place because there’s a need, a supplier, some money and a deal to be done. When that deal is done both parties go their separate ways. Think “buying a car”. Same thing.

Relationship sales

Think “hiring an IFA”. It relies on a strong bond of trust and understanding between the two parties before you give someone influence over your money.

Timing is also a factor; “I don’t want to buy now but I will” or “I already have a supplier that does what you do but I’m interested” both apply.

Why there’s a problem

All too often we confuse the two. We want to make a transactional sale when what’s needed is a relationship sale

Relationship building needs time, patience and repeated interactions. If your potential clients sees a risk to them in what you’re selling then you have to build a relationship and win trust.

Think “buying a car” again but now consider how you felt at risk of making the wrong choice. The greatest car salesman in the US would have his customers come back again and again, even driving across the country to buy from him again. And the US is a big country.

So decide what kind of sales your clients want, then build your skills; build your confidence and be the best you can be.