The Modern Selling Podcast
Sales Is About Relationships. Have You Forgotten? With Dale Dupree, Episode #134
Feb 6, 2020 · 48 min
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I’ve had a few experiences lately that have reminded me how much sales is about relationships. From prospecting, all the way up to serving as a leader of a sales team, the relationships with people are what matter most. To speak on this issue I asked my friend, Dale Dupree, leader of The Sales Rebellion to be my guest on this episode of The #ModernSelling Podcast. Dale shares openly about his struggles in life and as a sales professional and challenges all of us to raise the bar on how we conduct ourselves within the sales profession. Listen, receive his challenges humbly, and do your part to make sales a service to people first and foremost.

Are You Still Approaching Sales Like You’re In The 1970s?

When I first asked Dale what he thinks is currently wrong with sales, he immediately said that the industry as a whole still behaves like it's stuck in the 1970s. He says we’re looking at metrics wrong, thinking about phone calls and cold calling incorrectly, and that we are pushing products instead of connecting with people. 

Dale has learned that the human connection is what is most often missing from sales conversations, prospecting, and other interactions related to sales. Salespeople are still operating according to quotas, commission checks, and numbers instead of having a concern for the people on the other end of the line. We can’t afford for this trend to continue. 

These actions give the sales profession a bad name and why many people treat those in sales badly or never give them the time of day. Listen to learn what you can do—as a seller or a sales leader—to make sales about relationships again.

True Sales Outreach Is Built On Caring For People

Recently I had a terrible experience with someone who was making the attempt to nurture a relationship with me as a prospect. I say “attempt” because that’s all it was—and it was a BAD attempt at that. The person was using the “spray and pray” method, simply blasting out a barely personalized message to as many touches as possible, hoping a few turned into sales conversations.

When I tried to point out why his approach was not effective or appealing, he admitted he was not interested in personalizing the conversation yet, and suggested we talk about his offer anyway. What a fail! 

Dale says this is an example of the old-style prospecting techniques still being used that not only don’t work, but that close the door to future opportunities. There is a person on the other end of every prospecting or marketing call and email. We can never forget that. Remembering that will enable us to treat those individuals with care, begin the first steps of nurturing a genuine relationship, and in time, possibly open the door to a sales conversation.

How You Treat Prospects Matters More Than Hitting Your Numbers

The methods used to prospect for sales leads in the past have been all about the way the numbers work. It’s a blast-it-out mentality that is impossible to scale in a personalized way. This method shows no regard for the individual on the receiving end. As society has changed and technology has made it easier to reach out to prospects, that same approach applied through digital means has caused untold damage to the reputations of those in the sales industry. This is one reason why it is essential to implement a sales methodology that provides value and develops relationships based on trust.

Dale points out that even if you get a handful of sales calls from spraying your templated marketing message to 10,000 leads, you’ve likely offended and put-off the vast majority of those who do not respond. Those are people, not numbers, and they don’t want to be treated as if their personal needs and individuality don’t matter. Salespeople, we’ve got to do better. Dale shares several great ways to rustle up Net New contacts on this episode that are not based purely on the numbers.

Sales Leaders Need To Remember That Sales Is About Relationships, Too

Much of the painfully dated techniques bemoaned on this episode are the result of sales leaders training their teams to prospect and reach out in a dehumanizing way. But it goes farther than that. Many sales leaders treat their teams in the same impersonal, dehumanizing manner. Dale describes his own experience, both from a team member perspective and in working alongside sales leaders who are stuck in an old-school way of sales training.

Dale’s challenge to us is to take the issue of caring for people seriously. Sales is about relationships, really. It’s the real connections with real people that begin and sustain long-term business relationships that benefit the customer and the seller. Listen to learn how you can begin turning the tide in your sales organization.

Outline of This Episode
  • [2:50] Dales’ story: from copier sales to leading the sales rebellion
  • [10:23] What’s wrong with sales today?
  • [16:40] A real-life example of the impersonalization that often happens in sales
  • [25:41] How can sales reps find more net new business?
  • [37:33] The importance of mental health for salespeople
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