5 Elements of a Sales Relationship

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I’ve seen it over and over – small business owners who get nervous and uncomfortable when it’s time to assume the role of salesperson. Sales are the backbone of your company’s health, and most entrepreneurs are not trained sales professionals. In fact, most business owners are reluctant, resistant sales people, worried about being perceived as pushy, or worse yet, sleazy. As a result, they don’t get out and sell.

It seems to be a universal, ever-present, nagging concern – how do I present myself in an authentic, effective manner that makes me feel comfortable and accomplish my sales goals all at the same time?

Here’s how to create an authentic and powerful transformation. Move from your worried perception of yourself as a sales persuader targeting a victim with money, to a professional consultant whose goal is to partner with a customer to help fulfill their wants, needs and desires. Sounds better already, doesn’t it?

These are my 5 key elements of a professional, comfortable, consultative relationship:

Honesty and Candor

Communicate clearly what your product or service can and cannot provide, even in the face of losing the customer’s business.

Peer-Level Perception

Present yourself as a colleague; a peer who is jointly evaluating with the buyer, whether a business relationship will be mutually beneficial.

Patience to Allow a Relationship to Develop

Sometimes you can hit it off immediately with someone; other times it can take months for the relationship to develop. It’s ok to let time take its course.


Although you may not be friends, respect what the buyer’s values and intent are, and the buyer will respect your approach to business and your professionalism.


Hold the perspective that you will sell to the “right” buyer. Trusting that true needs will be served, if the buyer is a good fit it will keep you relaxed and enjoying the process.

It’s YOUR life…imagine the possibilities!

About the Author (Author Profile)

Helaine Iris helps overwhelmed small business owners take control of their time and finances so they can double their revenues with less stress. Featured in numerous publications, including “O” The Oprah Magazine Helaine’s dynamic, personal coaching style helps entrepreneurs accelerate their businesses with tools that empower, build financial success and create personal transformation.

Comments (8)

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  1. Mark Leavenworth says:

    Independence is the driving force behind entrepreneurs. A passion against accepting the role of being a consumer is often the second most important motivator. It’s natural, then, that sales, where both the avoidance of dependance and the acceptance of the need for the buyer to make profitable decisions for the seller come together, while at the same time being the most important driver of the successful business, is the most difficult hurdle for the entrepreneur. Thank you for bringing this fact to light, and enlightening the independent minded entrepreneur to feel less alone in the difficulty of accepting it.

  2. Neil says:

    I’ve been involved in Sales & Marketing for more years than I am willing to admit in this public forum. The best tip I could contribute to this piece is that the quality of the “relationship” you establish with your customer (or your customer’s customer) should become as the over-riding business driver in everything you do.

    Case in point. A good friend of mine sold his painting business for $5.5 million USD. Less than 2 years later, he bought back the business (coming out of retirement) for $2.5 because the new management team didn’t get it that competing on bid price alone wasn’t a winning formula.

    The key is.. say what you mean and mean what you say and understand that your word is your bond and that actions speak louder than words and you MUST walk your talk.

  3. Katrina says:

    Great topic and post, i would recommed this for people starting out a new business. Worrying about self image limits productivity and efficient handling of a business.

  4. Some good tips here…

    When I became a personal trainer I never realized my success wasn’t going to be dependent on my knowledge of exercise and fitness but rather on my ability to sell myself!

    You can include me in the crowd of folks who’s not completely comfortable “selling” yet…

  5. I find that many business owners are uncomfortable with the sales end of it because they take it too personal (particularly women) What I have found is focusing on what you can do to add value and solve a problem for your potential clients is the best mindset. A servant’s attitude will build relationships that will turn into loyal customers for life!

  6. Brilliant article – I totally agree with you and I’d love to share this page with my students. Would that be OK?

  7. Jhonny says:

    Awesome post, shows out a great point.

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