Don't Sell People, DMDNY Speaker Urges

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NEW YORK--It's easy to make sales but not so easy to make customers, as Brooklyn native Tony Alessandra explained in a witty, captivating, yet poorly attended keynote address at DM Days here June 3.


"People don't want to feel sold,'' said Alessandra, an applied behavioral scientist, marketing strategist and president of Alessandra & Associates, New York.


Marketing, selling and service will turn prospects into customers but to make them apostles requires the often ignored ability to build relationships. Alessandra, who got his start selling cookware door-to-door, said half of all customers never hear from the seller again and urged attendees to increase the quantity and quality of customer contact.


Alessandra likened the buyer-seller relationship to a marriage, the less communication the weaker the bond. Marketers should strive to develop relationships for life with their customers similar to that between grandparents and their grandchildren. Grandparents follow what Alessandra calls the Platinum Rule: Treat others the way you would want to be treated.


Watch what people do and listen to what they say and you can break them into four personality types: the fun and recognition seeking socializer, the results-driven director, the detail-oriented thinker, and the harmony seeking relator. Each type is some combination of an open or guarded communicator and a direct or indirect problem solver To build a relationship for life, each personality should be approached differently. Alessandra suggested selling relators in a friendly way, thinkers precisely, directors rapidly and socializers dynamically.

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