Balancing Act: The Relationship Quotient and The Education Quotient

Successful selling requires a bit of a balancing act. Consider the balance between the Relationship Quotient (RQ) and the Education Quotient (EQ). Understanding how the RQ (the connection you establish between yourself and your client/prospect), works with the EQ (how you present your product or service so that your client can make an informed decision), is essential.

All sales begin with a relationship. As you establish the nature of that relationship, your RQ should be way higher than your EQ. That’s because before you can teach anything, you have to develop a basis of trust. In the high RQ phase, the focus is on what you can learn from your client – about his or her wants, needs, and goals. Oftentimes if you try to show how smart you are by giving lots of details about you and your product before you have created that trust, you lose the relationship and with it, the opportunity to actually make a difference for that person. On the other hand, if you take the time to build that bond, you position yourself to grow with that individual and create a client who will stick with you well into the future.

Over time, as trust in you is established and your client knows you are there for the right reasons, your focus shifts to education. In this phase, the EQ becomes higher and the RQ becomes lower. With experience, this shift occurs naturally. As you continue the right mix of relationship and education, putting the wants and the needs of the client first, you increase potential for a winning outcome for both of you. It is a proven fact. There is much credible research that shows this works.

Remember these important points the next time you head into a sales opportunity:

1. In the beginning the Relationship Quotient is high, the Education Quotient is lower. As you gain more trust in the relationship, the Relationship Quotient is lower and the Education Quotient is higher.

2. Long-term success in sales begins with establishing a relationship that is positive for both you and your prospect/client – one based sincerely on the salesperson’s desire to put the client’s needs first. One way to communicate that effectively is to create an atmosphere that puts you both on the same side of the table. You want to be literally and figuratively working together toward a common goal, rather than being on opposite sides.

3. The individual you’re selling to has to feel as if he or she has won. I remember a great mentor of mine teaching me the very important lesson that you always have to have the ability to go back. If you focus on building the relationship, followed by education and doing the right thing for the client, it’s easy to go back and it’s easy to sell more. That’s because you know you have a true relationship and everyone involved knows that each party is there for the right reasons. It’s not just about money; it’s about helping clients become better, or making a difference in their companies.

Go out, put the client first, make a difference, and achieve greatness.

Go Do Great Things!

P.S. These concepts were derived from The Wilson Learning Center and John Gunker.

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