working-togetherEconomies, companies and the people within them, prosper when buyers and sellers cooperate. They falter when they don’t.

Buyers, how do you respond to communication from salespeople? Are you pleasant and open-minded or surly, or do you prefer to avoid them entirely? Sellers, do you approach buyers in ways they appreciate or do you suddenly appear like an unwelcome relative? How do you react when a buyers says, “Not interested.”? Do you courteously disengage or persist?

I recall a networking event I attended a few years back. A fellow business person asked me what I did for a living. When I told her I owned a selling strategy company she exclaimed, “Oh!!” and decided to test my sales knowledge. “Do you know when selling starts?” she asked me. I knew how badly she wanted to tell me, so I said, “No.” Her eyes lit up and she moved in closer as if she were about to disclose a trade secret and whispered, “When the customer says, NO.”

The job of a salesperson is to introduce options and opportunities to the world. The job of a buyer is to know all the options and opportunities applicable to his/her country, industry or life so he/she can make the best buying decisions whether it is on behalf of his/her government, association, company, employer, family or him/herself. Ignoring salespeople unwisely ignores options and opportunities. Persisting, when a buyer indicates lack of need or interest is unprofessional and undermines the reputation and value of selling and salespeople.

Both sides, buyer and seller, must rethink and improve their reactions to each other if a prosperous economy is their mutual destination.