About the interviewee
Gerald Bricker is the Principal of Aadvise Consulting, LLC, a business coaching and consulting practice. He founded the practice in 2009 following over 30 years in business general management and C-level sales management for automotive supplier companies. He led sales teams that grew revenues an average of greater than 20% per year for most of that time. His credentials include a degree in engineering from Drexel University and an MBA from Northern Illinois University. He currently serves on the board of directors of two not-for-profit organizations and one professional association.
Tell me about your firm (number of employees, location, type of companies you work with, etc.).
Aadvise Consulting is a sole practitioner company located in Northvile, MI. Our niche is in working with small to mid-sized companies in the B2B services industry. Those companies range in size from five to 100 employees. Our specialties are strategic planning, leadership development and customer loyalty training.
Tell us about why it is important for you to establish a relationship with your potential clients.
It is important to establish a relationship with potential clients in order to better determine their real needs and their reasons to buy. Buying decisions are always emotional ones. A strong relationship enables me to truly connect with the decision maker and to become their assistant buyer. When I can do that I am not selling I am helping them to buy. I can help them to meet their professional goals and their personal ones at the same time.
What do you do to establish relationship with the key players?
From the initial contact make it about them. No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care. It is important to ask questions. People love to talk about themselves. I learn as much as I can about them and empathize with their challenges.
What sales techniques have you found as ineffective in developing relationships, which ones work, and why?
Making a pitch before the time is right is not effective. You must understand when the buyer is ready to buy.
There is a buying/selling process that leads to successful results. It’s important to understand that the buyer follow these steps:
They have to buy you
Then they have to buy your company
Next they have to buy your product or service
When you reach this point they are ready to buy your price
Finally they have to buy your timing
Trying to sell without understanding the buying process in that order will lead to a low probability of success.