Chapter 2. Living Your Vows in a Whirlwind Economy

Seleste Lunsford


In today's economy, selling needs to be more like a marriage and less like a whirlwind romance.

The concept is fairly basic: Predictable long-term revenue growth requires enduring, mutually beneficial customer relationships.

The challenge lies neither in grasping that point, nor in popping the question, but in doing what it takes to live up to your vows.


To reach and exceed their revenue goals, salespeople need customers who value what you sell—which is ideally expressed in a clear value proposition. Whether product-centered ("We sell world-class widgets") or service-centered ("We grow your business"), a value proposition—like a marriage proposal—frames the kind of relationship you want.

Yet a recent AchieveGlobal study found at least two trends that complicate your customer relationships. Increased competition has made commodities of many products and services, and savvy customers now rely on arm's-length buying models—requests for proposal (RFPs), reverse auctions, procurement teams, and others. To weather these challenges, it's important to segment and prioritize customers based on the value they find in you, not just the value you find in them. Then sift this data for the specific customers most likely to value what you sell.


Even among organizations that sell on price or convenience, few realize long-term success without equally long-term relationships. ...

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