Are you building a database of prospects or friends?

Offering to help

When I say “friends” I am referring to how you connect with the people you meet. Most professional salespeople act as though the people they meet are those from whom they will make a hearty profit. The better approach is one of friendship where you offer your help to solve problems and you receive a monetary exchange for the much needed help.

To be successful you need to understand why others are asking to connect. This is part of the qualifying process of the sales cycle. All relationships should be mutually beneficial and you should enjoy one another.

Have you ever had a client or a job that was a nightmare? This is because either proper time wasn’t taken to find enough reasons to proceed or warning signs were ignored. Sales experts claim your potential client should indicate 3-5 buy-in signals during the course of a conversation. In my opinion, the same is true of the person doing the selling.

Synergy must be felt both ways, and a tinge of excitement about working together should be in the mix too.

Read the posts of others

I’m frequently asked, “How do you make friends online?” The best way is by reading the posts of others. See which ones inspire you and which people continually offer posts or Tweets that stand out. These are the people who should be approached. Another strategy is to join a community where you may be an active participant. As you create regular posts that are “liked” by others or commented on, show appreciation by thanking those people. Develop your online conversation. Seek out their profile to find if you have something in common. When you find you have similar interests, use that talking point to connect and ask if they would like to have a live conversation. Then your relationship will deepen as you explore opportunities for doing business.

I have found two significant results from following these instructions. First, to my amazement I attracted opportunity that would not otherwise have come my way because we would never have found one another. I was asked to contribute to many books, be a speaker for several online conferences and for live conferences. Social media is networking made easy and incurs very little expense mainly only time.

Second, using these instructions, I have made lifetime friends. Three of us enjoyed each other so much, we began to have regular 1 on 1 calls as well as conference calls. We began to promote each other’s events. And when I had an opportunity to be a keynote speaker at a New Orleans Conference, I got the opportunity because was recommended by two friends. We met at the conference last year. Upon meeting, we were instant fast friends, still speak of the amazing connection we made, and will always remember that special time together.

Since that time we are promoting and helping one another more than ever. And the interesting piece is we are seen as leaders in that group and each of us, due to the synergistic support, have made tremendous strides ever since.

My brand (and I say this with a big smile on my face) became “heart based selling.” I wonder what the corporate sales folk would think of this. But for me it always translates into a very Smooth Sale!


Elinor Stutz, CEO of Smooth Sale, LLC authored the International Best-Selling book, “Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results” and “HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews”. She provides team sales training, private coaching and business retreats to grow you business. She is available upon request for consultation.