I just read an amusing comic created by Amit Agarwal who writes a technology blog called Digital Inspiration. The cartoon addresses a PR rep pitching an invite to their client’s event in hopes of having him cover their product or service favorably in his popular blog. When he politely refused a second time, the rep asks him for names and contact addresses of his blogger colleagues. Obviously, a one sided exchange in communication just happened here.

It inspired me to write a thought about how some company representatives in the age of relationship centered selling, still don’t quite get it. We live in a sophisticated buyer environment where information is available at our fingertips, and products and services are commodities due to the sheer volume of choices available. It’s really time companies train their people how to establish relationships and learn about the prospect’s needs before attempting to make a close.

In the situation illustrated through this comic, the PR rep could have been less one-sided and instead thanked Amit for his time, following up with an article that he might of found useful based on what she learned about his interests. Such action shows she is thinking of him, not just herself. This opens the door to a potential business relationship where perhaps next time, he might attend her client’s event.

As human beings, we instinctively want to do business with people that we believe have our best interest at heart. Time is so precious in today’s fast-paced economy. We don’t have even ten minutes to waste on those who are completely self serving. I’m not suggesting that as sales people we don’t put our intent forward or be honest with the buyer on our objectives. The idea here is that we do so with integrity and customer care learning what matters most to the prospect so we can then deliver a solution (or invitation to an event) that makes their lives better.

It may take longer to get the sale this way, but the end result will be so much more rewarding… for all involved!