Transactional Conversations Squash Relational Growth!

Oct 02, 2023
Transactional Conversations Squash Relational Growth!
"Approaching people looking for something in return isn't a relationship, it's a transaction.
Mark Manson

Being in sales is an extremely challenging, fun, exhausting, mundane, a grind, and a highly competitive game. It’s exciting to finally get that “sale”, that pumps you up even more for the next one.

Let's drop some honesty here.... How may in sales are on a quest to get to the sale as fast as possible?

Allow me to expand on this one...

How soon can I convert the first handshake (virtual or face-to-face) to shipping an order to them?

How fast can I get through all the details of a meeting to the pitch?

How fast can I get from point A to C while bypassing B?

How fast can I close the deal with someone who has an extremely tight schedule, and this is my first face-to-face with them?

Collectively as salespeople, it is your job to sell. However, the consummate professional understands their client and their frustrations, aspirations, company dynamics, activities they're into, passions they want to pursue, and their dreams.

With transactional conversations, you're simply skimming the surface. You aren’t fully engaging with who you're speaking with. You're speaking to them with the simple goal of... How fast can I get this order to hit my monthly, quarterly or annual budget.

Transactional speak squashes relational growth.

Do I have you thinking a bit about your conversations?

Just a bit curious, when you speak with your clients or for that matter, your future clients, are you solely focused on the transaction or the interaction?

In your conversations, are you clear about the purpose? Are your thoughts, words, and actions aligned with the purpose and the outcomes you would like to achieve?

Are your conversations coming from a place of caring and wanting to be of service or making a difference?

A heartfelt professional leaves the other person feeling glad they had the interaction with them.

Are your conversations heartfelt?

Are your conversations sincere?

Are your conversations intentional?

Conversations are one of the strongest tools you have to effectively build meaningful relationships.

The way you open a conversation directly impacts what happens next. It's the direction you take these conversations along with the strategy behind all of it, which determines this... a customer transaction or a client relationship.

Are you building customers or building clients?

You never know when one conversation will lead to exponential revenue growth.

Conversations build relationships, and relationships build businesses.

Now, answer me this...

Are you creating transactional customers or transformational clients?

Allow me to throw a stake in the ground on this one... transactional salespeople are killing the sales profession.

Yes, you heard me correctly... They are killing the profession and who is to blame for that?

If you're running around trying to find a "sales deal" for the here and now, I am going to ask you to stop and think about the longevity this has and the mental anguish you're putting yourself through.

Transactional mindsets are only focused on the sale.

This transactional mindset based on pitch and pounce has tarnished the profession.

The race to the bottom is occurring at rapid rates within many sales channels. Undercutting and monumental discounts is not a long-term business strategy.

This approach is not only unsustainable but puts your relationships at risk.

Point blank... You cannot build a trusted relationship with transactional speak.

These transactional conversations may lead to short-term growth but long-term failures... All at the expense of your customers.


Transactional interactions and the associated behaviors are felt by those that are involved in them.

I guarantee that at some point in time these conversations will be replaced by a better transactional conversation.

How likely will your clients come back for more if you continually deliver a transactional type of experience?

Some of you might be saying, "developing my client relationships is tough" and you might be right, however; the transactional conversations you're having with your clients will consume you.

Transactional mindsets alienate, transformational conversations build client communities.

You have a transactional mindset if...

  1. You value the transaction over the relationship.
  2. You prioritize your own needs over those of others.

The main problem with transactional mentality is that many salespeople view the relationship as nothing more than what can be obtained.

Transactional approaches do not lead to transformational results.
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I believe we do need some transactional type conversations in our daily sales lives, however; there are plenty of opportunities to move those conversations to transformational.

Quality over quantity!

I believe deep and meaningful transformational conversations are more powerful and effective than transactional ones.

Transformational conversations require you to be open in engaging with another individual without knowing where the conversation will go. There's no hidden agenda or deception.

Transformational conversations explore:

  • Dreams
  • Fears
  • Doubts
  • Possibilities
  • Aspirations
"I think for any relationship to be successful, there needs to be loving communication, appreciation, and understanding."
Miranda Kerr

Think about the above quote... How can you develop loving communication, appreciation and understanding with a transactional mindset?

Sales professionals with a transformational mindset:

  • Do not seek out predetermined outcomes
  • They ask powerful questions
  • They listen deeply
  • They acknowledge and are supportive


The quality of your conversations will determine the quality of your sales life.

To quote, Judith E. Glaser, Founder of The CreatingWE Institute,

"Once it is understood how to have productive, quality conversations, individuals and teams can take control of their destiny."

Trust is one key ingredient to creating transformational conversations which lead to meaningful relationships. Trust is powerful. It promotes loyalty, increases credibility and defines how you and your clients interact with each other.

With transformational conversation you proactively work to paint a picture of mutual success.

Transformational conversations require conversational competence. This requires practice. By becoming conversationally competent you open the space for healthy and assertive conversations to emerge.

Healthy, trust-based conversations can be challenging but are necessary for long-term relational sustainability.

Sales professionals build and promote trust in their conversations by:

  1. Placing trust at the center of all their relationships.
  2. Becoming a connected listener.
  3. Becoming present in the moment and engaged in all conversations.

Transformational conversations characterized by openness, active listening, empathy, shared goals, and assertiveness, become a powerful driver for building trust.

Trust is the fundamental component of healthy and productive relationships, and transformational conversations provide a platform for nurturing and strengthening that trust.


We all have choices in our lives.

A transactional mindset along with the associated conversations may work and provide you with a sense of sales fulfillment but I promise you that a transformational mindset and conversations will change the trajectory of your sales results.

Bryant McGill and his quote brings this all home,

"Real transformation requires real honesty. If you want to move forward - get real with yourself."

Transactional conversations squash relational growth while transformational conversations build relational strength.

Originally published on Larry Levine's LinkedIn.

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