Susan Wehrspann & Associates
Link to Home Page Link to Our Approach Page Link to Training Information Page Link to Seminars Page Link to Consulting Page Link to Workshops Page Link to Performance Page Link to Our Firm Page Link to clients Page Link to Comments Page Link to Articles and Newsletters Page Link to Contact Us Page


Customers are changing their patterns of purchasing and their expectations of a sales relationship. So we need selling skills to help us to negotiate from a position of strength while building a long-lasting sales relationship that benefits buyers and sellers alike. 

Karl Albrecht consultant, futurist, speaker, and a prolific author suggest creating new possibilities for doing business with your customers by developing “customer preference” and establishing customer intimacy. We need to create the perception of significant customer value, differentiate ourselves from our competitor, and go beyond what is needed and expected, by delivering what is unanticipated in transactions, solutions, relationships, and The result? Shared success where both you and the customer recognize and value your interdependence. (( author of Service America, The Only Thing That Matters, Corporate Radar

What are the sales skills that nurture enduring relationships the kind that naturally create more selling opportunities?

People buy people- it’s all about influence. As long as we are in the ballpark price-wise our features, function benefit package is comparable; it boils down to rapport.  Our success is linked directly to what the other person is saying to himself or herself about who you are, what you have to say and how you say In the first 40 seconds to 4 minutes people decide whether they will listen! How do we leverage our influence? 

Sonja Hemline reports in her classic book HOW TO TALK SO PEOPLE LISTEN that people listen to us based on 

  • who we are
  • what we say 
  • how we say it

WHO WE ARE? Are we credible? Congruent?   Do we show character? Do our questions build credibility about us, about our company?  Are we turning our cold calls into a warmcalls? Have we visited their website, do we look at all the upper management, have we read the bios, news releases, so we can find something in common?

WHAT we say has more influence if what we say is what our clients are interested in. Do we have a solution to their problem, hurt, pain, needs? Do they perceive that our proposal will bridge the need gap between what is and what they want, between reality and results?

Lastly HOW we present our ideas increases our influence, with everything else equal people buy from people they like.  Does our client

  • See us as similar to them?
  • Like us because we seem similar?
  • Think our communication patterns seem familiar? 
(Judith Tingley GENDERFLEX, GENDER SELL INDIRECT INFLUENCE) Here’s where our preparation can leverage our influence with different people.

What techniques are proven to get results? First, we can improve our performance by asking the kinds of questions that identify our customers' real needs, and developing these customer needs into strong wants and desires in order to strengthen the sales relationship and continuously moving the relationship to one of shared success

Second, Neil Rackham author of SPIN SELLING suggests that we can create value for clients by asking questions about these four aspects: the situation, the problem, its implications and need payoffs. He found in the largest research project ever undertaken in the field-over 35,000 sales calls over 12 years that most sales professionals only consider the first two and do not explore the Implications and need payoffs. (

Third, to identify the latter, Thomas A. Freese author of Secrets of Question-Based Selling: Sales Strategies for Spectacular Results  suggests inserting a query into virtually every contact with the client. 

One example, instead of the same old blah, blah, blah at the beginning of a conversation, try a simple "credentialing"--name, company, product, service--that ends with “Is this a good time to talk?” Or “Did I catch you at a bad time?" 

Let’s put it all together. Having done our home work we know from calling the company doing some research, you find out they are hard ot get to news releases the situation they are in, we create credibility with our knowledge, we connect our services to the problem and its implications.  Having made the right references, we come back to our company, “How familiar are you with…? If they know little about you, it gives you the opportunity to send your collateral. You get to explain who, what,  how etc.


Finally the need payoff is great for us too. As irresistible forces are reshaping the world of selling and sales functions everywhere are in the early stages of radical and profound change  and we can be ready to

  • improve our performance by asking the kinds of questions that identify our customers' situation, the problem, its implications and need payoffs 
  • increase our sales by effectively leveraging our influence  and delivering customer value 
  • get better results by strengthening sales relationships and continuously moving the sale forward up the hierarchy of customer value- from products, transactions, to shared success
Sue Wehrspann,

Link to Home Page Susan Wehrspann and Associates Address and Phone Number Link to return to the top of this page

Contact Susan Wehrspann