Tech Retailer CDW: Soft Sell Works Best

There’s three kinds of sales. The sales where the customer badly needs your product and just buys (maybe their tire blew out and they just need a new tire – for example). There’s the real hard sell where you annoy the customer to death (you won’t make many sales that way).
Then there’s the CDW way. CDW’s sales reps becomes partners and friends to their customers.
Fast Company writes If you’re one of Ron Kelly’s regular customers, you probably know that he’s 35 and has a wife named Michelle, a 9-year-old son named Andrew, and a German shepherd named Bones. You know that he majored in journalism and poly sci at SIU (that’s Southern Illinois University) and was supposed to attend Northwestern’s law school, but instead came to work at CDW (that’s Computer Discount Warehouse). You know that he bleeds red and black for the Chicago Blackhawks.
You also know that he knows as much, if not more, about you.
Kelly, an affable account manager, is a master at relationship-based selling, which is CDW’s specialty. It’s the nonsales sales call: two friends catching up before eventually turning to a little business. Customers love it. “He’s my sales rep, but he’s also my friend,” says Todd Greenwald, director of operations for Heartland Computers, which sells bar-code scanners. “Most of the time we don’t even talk about price. I trust Ron.”
Despite competing in a highly volatile industry against thousands of local rivals, CDW has managed to become a high-tech heavyweight in the 20 years since founder Michael Krasny started the business at his kitchen table. The company, based in Vernon Hills, Illinois, outside Chicago, now sells around $5 billion worth of computer equipment and services a year.

Get CDW’s Keys to a Lasting Relationship here