Being a leader in the American made industrial shredders and grinders industry, our Cresswood leadership and sales teams know that relationship building is a critical aspect of sales and business, as it fosters trust, loyalty, and long-term partnerships with clients and customers. In today’s competitive market, building authentic business relationships has become even more important, as it differentiates businesses from their competitors and creates a foundation for success. By investing time and effort into understanding the needs and preferences of clients, businesses can tailor their products or services to meet specific requirements, leading to increased customer satisfaction and repeat business. Moreover, relationship building goes beyond the transactional nature of sales; it involves developing genuine connections with individuals, demonstrating empathy, and consistently delivering value. Ultimately, the ability to cultivate meaningful relationships is an invaluable skill in sales and business that can contribute to long-term success and growth.
Unwanted Sales and Marketing Pitches are Inundating our Inboxes
These days we all seem to be under constant attack by salespeople and marketers using terrible tactics. We experience it almost daily in our industry of manufacturing world class industrial grinders and shredders. In fact, it is one of the most annoying downsides of living in this digital age. We are bombarded at every turn with unsavory and robotic form messages from hacks all vying for our attention and pocketbooks. Our inboxes and social media DM’s are inundated every hour with stale pitches for stuff we aren’t even interested in. We hesitate to even make new connections on platforms like LinkedIn because most of the time it is just another cold-caller with a hidden agenda. You make the connection, they message you 5 minutes later for a product or service you did not want, need, or ask for. Thanks, but no thanks! Into the round file, they go, rinse and repeat. If I had a dollar for every email solicitation for a trade show list of attendees, managed IT services, or a fantastic rate on a new business line of credit, I may very well afford to retire at the end of the year! I often ask myself, who in the world falls for this crummy kind of sales stuff? Somebody must or they would stop doing it right? But why on earth would anyone in their right mind want to willingly engage with a total stranger making an unsolicited intrusion into your life? Why would you want to make a transaction with someone trying to sell you something you didn’t ask for or need?!
Approaching Sales Differently at our American Made Industrial Shredder and Grinder Company
There was a time recently when I got so irritated with it all that I really let it get under my skin and upset my whole day. But then it got me thinking, what is it about this type of sales and marketing that makes it so repellent to me? Why does this form of sales and marketing trigger such strong negative emotions? This was the beginning of a silver lining moment you might say, because as these negative emotions came to a head, it allowed me to recognize and appreciate those things about sales I truly believe in; all the good and genuine stuff on the other side of the sales coin. It allowed me to really put my finger on those things that make selling a product or service a very rewarding and honorable profession. And the more I thought about it, the more it helped to put into words what makes Cresswood and the way we approach sales different and personally rewarding to me.
What is common to all the bad types of sales is that it is focused only on the product or service they’re selling, how amazing it is, and how it will solve all your problems and soothe all your pains. They are like hammers all searching for nails. The problem is that it never considers who I am, or takes the time to actively listen to my specific needs or situation. The bad type of sales has it all backward when it comes to the focus. When we even get a whiff of this rotten stuff, it instinctively turns us off, makes us distrustful of the seller, and puts our guard up to protect ourselves from being manipulated. This happens because we intuitively know we are not being listened to, and nobody enjoys having something we are not even interested in stuffed down our throats. People don’t like being told what we need, but they do enjoy and want to engage with someone who will take the time to actively listen to what their real needs are.
The numbers game type of selling means having an inventory of widgets and telling your team to go out and sell as many of them as possible, to convince the world why our widget is the best thing since sliced bread. It really doesn’t matter very much if you are solving a problem or adding something of real value at the other end, it is about getting the sale. Sometimes this tactic does hit the mark (even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then!), but often it is simply an exercise of pounding as many round pegs into square holes as you can to make your quota. The reason why this sort of thing ticks us off, is far too often the seller is trying his or her best to dupe us into buying, to fool our better judgment. At the end of the day, this type of sales really doesn’t care whether or not what they’re selling actually helps us, or provides a fix for the difficult problems we need to solve, they just want the sale and will gladly deploy unethical tactics to get it.
At the opposite end of the sales spectrum is what I refer to as relationship-based sales, which is what the Cresswood team practices when selling our American made industrial shredders and grinders around the US. In this paradigm, the salesperson is most like a consultant. This is a subject matter expert whose job it is to look deeply at the situation at hand and understand it completely. They actively listen to the client’s unique challenges in order to put forward a solution that will truly meet their needs. The salesperson who embraces this type of selling will either offer the best possible solution they can provide, with full confidence it will work, or they will make the difficult decision to pass on the sale or even refer the client to another solution provider who they know can help. For the relationship-based seller, what is most important isn’t selling a catalog of widgets, it’s fully understanding the client’s challenges and steering them toward a known solution, even in situations when that solution happens to be outside the salesperson’s commission structure.
Providing Value Through a Customer-Centric, Relationship-Based Sales Approach
Relationship-based sales is customer-centric, it is wholly obsessed with not just meeting the customer’s needs but in DELIGHTING them, exceeding their basic expectations, and going above and beyond to provide a truly exceptional experience. This approach is also keenly focused on promoting the VALUE behind the products and services, not interested at all in participating in the race to the bottom of selling on price. The VALUE is what speaks to the customer’s real needs, not the cost. The relational salesperson shows the client the value in your proposition, and how it helps make a firm business case in terms of ROI. You must be efficient and price yourself within what the market will bear, but when you have a VALUE and relationship-based sales model, you can and should ask for more because you provide much more and are able to explain to your clients how. Those who are buying exclusively on price are not your concern, they are not the client profile that will grow and support your business. These folks often do become your best customers though, as they experience the remorse of purchasing BRAND“X” and come to fully understand your value proposition via a very painful experience.
I am very proud to be a part of an American made industrial shredder and grinder organization that is customer-centric and obsessed with delighting the clients we serve. I truly enjoy the experience of selling products and services that meet and exceed the customer’s expectations. It warms my heart to know there are so many of our machines that were built in the 90s still working away and serving the needs of woodworking, pallet, paper, and plastic manufacturers today. I am confident and encouraged by the service and engineering team that stands behind every piece of equipment we sell. The up-front sale doesn’t mean a thing in the long run if you can’t stand behind it. Nearly half of our current business comes from repeat customers, businesses that won’t look anywhere else because they know we will take care of them and treat them fairly. Only relationship-based sales will earn you that kind of trust and respect. It can mean you’ll take some short-term lumps to protect your clients, but in the end, you will win the long-term victory and have an organizational sales strategy you can be proud of.
Cresswood Shredding Machinery is committed to recycling for a better world and continuous improvement. This means continuing to build our team to ensure success for our customers. If you are looking for American made industrial shredders built to last or maybe you are looking to work for a family-owned business that values teamwork, respect, and a customer-centric relationship-based sales approach, contact us today.