How to Sell to a Friend's Company

In this article, you'll learn how to easily convert a friend to your customer and even make them your ambassador in the marketplace.
Sell to a Friend's Company

Without a doubt, it’s extremely frustrating when a client takes your call, sits through a demo, asks for a proposal, then decides to never contact you again. It’s even worse when the customer is someone you know — a friend. In this article, we’ll teach you how you can convert one of your friends to a customer and avoid sticky situations that come with this sort of business relationship.

How to Sell to a Friend’s Company


As a salesperson, your goal is to solve problems and sell your product, no matter who the customer of interest is. Selling to one of your friends’ company could be an easy way to give a kickstart to your own business, however, this brings unique challenges.

Imagine this scenario: your friend is in need of a product or service, and you can provide it to them. You bring all the resources together to respond quickly with a compelling proposal, however, your friend never mentions this ever again and moves on with their life. Weeks go by with no response, even if you two see each other, the business proposal is never brought up again. Frustrating, right?

Turns out, a failed business proposal to your friend is usually not their fault — it’s yours. You didn’t do something right, and we’re here to help you correct it for the next time.

So, what exactly can go wrong?

According to Andy Miller of Big Swift Kick, a lot of things can go wrong when selling to a friend. You might not notice it right away, but more often than not, friends selling to friends tend to get over-confident, sloppy, too relaxed. This causes you to skip over crucial information and questions you should be asking a client, no matter what.

Contrary to what you might think, this is very counterintuitive. Just because you’re friends doesn’t mean you should take any shortcuts or provide extra resources that a different client wouldn’t get.

Key things to note when selling to friend

Here are the key things you need to note when selling to a friend:

Stick to your sales process

Don’t treat your friends any different from a regular client you work with. As mentioned above, this will only damage the business relation between the two of you, and in some cases, might even ruin your friendship.

Don’t offer additional bonuses to friends without something in return as well — you don’t owe a friend anything for becoming your business partner. It should be their choice, solely based on the services or products you provide, not flashy friend discounts and exclusive attention.

Have fun with your sales pitch

Sure, you shouldn’t treat friends differently than regular clients when it comes to the business side of the coin, but you can still remain casual in conversation. If you notice that a friend is brushing your business proposal to the side, try to approach them in a fun way.

This reminds them that you’re friends after all, and they owe you at least an explanation to help you improve your strategy. A more light-hearted approach is more likely to get a friend to respond to you with honesty.

Don’t let them get away

Stay professional during meetings and discussions with friends. You can ensure they don’t try to brush you off if you set dates for when you’ll get back to the topic. No successful salesperson has nailed a sale from a client who said they’ll “get back to them in a week or two.”

Always choose a set date for a follow-up discussion. This completely ensures that your friend knows they need to give you an answer, and more often than not, they think harder about your proposal.

Keep your expectations in check

It’s common for friends to expect their business proposals to take significantly better paths than normal. Don’t do this! Go in with good hopes, but never expect your friends to react any better than a regular client.

If you make your case and your friend needs your products or services, trust us, they will give you a call back. As long as you hold them accountable, agree on a date, and treat them like a customer.

Learn more about this topic by reading our How to Sell to Personal Friends Without Trying article!

Final thoughts

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