snowfireEstablishing relationships is priority No. 1 for salespeople.

After “retiring” from a long, invigorating career in sales, Bob Terson—founder of—now leverages his passion for helping others by sharing his wisdom with salespeople around the world.

Seasoned sales professionals who give, give, give are a joy to meet. Bob reached out to me, offered to help anyway he could, and invited me to guest blog for him. His inspiring message resonated with me, so I asked him to share his point of view with you. Read on and take notes from a pro … 

“Most salespeople are motivated by the instinctive desire to achieve immediate, tangible results. They want a sale, and they want it now (especially the one-call-close salesperson, who knows that, in his case, a callback is the kiss of death). But all too often, this ‘cut to the chase’ mentality precludes sales reps from taking the time to first establish relationships with their prospects—something even the one-call-close salesperson can and should do.

The Person Behind the Sale

If you truly care about serving your clients, you’ll take time to get to know them as people and to ask the key questions that’ll lead you to discover what they care about most, what their problems are, and which problems they’d give almost anything to solve.

That’s what buyers want from any salesperson with whom they do business—someone who really cares about them and their companies, an introspective problem-solver who is willing to carefully analyze needs and not rush the process along to simply make some quick money.

Isn’t that what you want from the salespeople you deal with? When someone takes a personal interest in you, doesn’t that grab you in a way nothing else does? You’re not buying from a salesperson; you’re working with a trusted friend to make your life better and more successful. You feel a surge of gratitude that you and your interests come first, and you’ll go to hell and back for that person to show your appreciation.

Selling with Integrity

If you invest the time to really get to know your prospects, to become a trusted friend, to put their long-term interests above your own, to never sell anything you deem not in their best interest, and to treat the sales process as a fiduciary responsibility, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a master salesperson. Your customers will love you for it. They’ll be loyal to you, buy from you over and over again, treat you with the utmost respect, and go out of their way to refer you to their peers. They’ll actually brag about you to anyone who’ll listen. That’s what you want from them, isn’t it? Sure it is. So, to use an old analogy, you need to put some wood into the furnace before you can expect to get back any heat. Be the leader in a win/win relationship, not just a salesperson who’s simply there to make a buck.

The ROI of Relationships

The irony is that you’ll make far more money if you approach the sales process this way. In the end, the only thing that really matters are the people in your life. This is as true in your business life as it is in your personal life.

The relationship is all-important and comes first. The first sale and all future sales are byproducts of the relationship. Never forget that.”

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How do you go about establishing relationships with your prospects and clients? Share a story of a time when you closed a major deal by demonstrating genuine interest in getting to know and serving your client.

Robert Terson (2)About the Author

Robert Terson has been a sales professional and entrepreneur his entire adult life. He retired from his advertising company, after 38 years of being in business, in January 2010 to begin a second career as a writer and speaker. He resides in Arlington Heights, Illinois, and is the founder of He is also the author of Selling Fearlessly: A Master Salesman’s Secrets For the One-Call-Close Salesperson, which offers wisdom, insights, and a remarkably fresh look from a master storyteller who spent more than 40 years in the field selling to the same tough customers you do. He invites you to contact him at or 847-577-1504.