There is an old sales maxim that we do business with people we like. It makes sense and is at the heart of the relationship sales movement.

With so much competition in the market, this idea has evolved into doing business with people we deem as worthy of our trade.

If you want a buyer to give you an order number, they have to see that you are worthy of receiving it. They want to know if you’re their equal in the relationship or if they can walk all over you.

To see if you are worthy of the business, buyers will test you. It may be subtle (not returning a call when they said they would) or overt (talking over you or ignoring your comments in a meeting).

Sometimes they do this for fun (not sending that big order through until 6pm on a Friday afternoon) or because they want to see how you react (giving 24 hours to re-work a full tender).

These are hoops they put up for you to jump through. How you jump through them (or don’t) tells them how worthy of their business you are.

If they can walk all over you from day 1, how much power will you have when you need to negotiate further business?

Jumping through hoops shows where you sit in the relationship. Jump with care.


This is an edited extract from my new book “Better Positioning Deeper Conversations More Sales”, ​Due out May 2016. To find out more and register for pre-release information click here