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I think LaVon is spot on, well 99%. The higher up the corporate ladder you get the less value the client gets from social chit chat. You do however need to understand whether they are someone who likes personal information or does not. Then adapt accordingly. Also the emphasis on the conversation needs to be on subjects much broader than your offering. This allows the relationship to be less situational as long as you are always bringing value. The key thing is intimacy. Do you care and show you care about the success of the person, and that does not mean you need to know their gold handicap.
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Totally agree Joanne - the human element of the sales process is still critical, particularly in more complex sales. The increase in reliance on technology by buyers does mean that they are far more informed than ever before, so sellers need to have a much broader and deeper understanding of their clients industries, not just their business - before the first sales meeting - than ever before. Personally, I still see many sales professionals still struggling with this part of the change.
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May 12, 2015