Do you treat your customers like humans?
What’s your best sales tip? Lately people have been asking me this question more and more. When I tell them I do sales training and consulting they say, “Oh, so you teach people about closing techniques and all the steps and tricks, right?” Not really.
Here’s the thing. We are in a magical time right now where companies have started to move out of this maintenance mode and place of hesitation to now aggressively pursuing opportunities and growth. We have ridden out most of the storm from 2008 and now is the time to get out and sell. But what’s the secret? What’s the best sales technique?
Connecting with people…as humans!
(click here or on the play button below to hear this post)
We live in a world where we are bombarded by information every day, where marketing and sales noise is flying at us fast and furiously, and each time you need help, you have to “Press 4.”
This has created a perfect storm for anyone looking to increase sales. Customers are ready to buy, companies are expanding, and customers are sensitive to information. I read a study recently that said customers today are 60% of the way through their decision making process by the time they engage with a sales rep.
So what do you do? Well, your job is not to hammer people with features and benefits, follow up incessantly, check in, try and close them, or anything else like that. Your job is to understand that your customers are informed and they are looking for you to provide insight and value to the purchase decision that they couldn’t get on their own.
How to sell more effectively: prepare
In order to do this, you have to move away from selling and more into connecting. Take time to learn about your customer and their problems, especially before you even meet with them. What insights can you provide to your customers that will help them with their situation?
- What is going on in the economy? How would that affect your potential customer?
- Where does their business show up on the competitive radar? How do they stand out or not?
- What is the level of complexity in their organization and how can that cause problems?
- What values are important to them?
- What would be some common fears for the company, but more importantly for the individual(s) you would need to speak with?
- What needs are they trying to solve?
- What happens to your customers if they don’t solve these kinds of problems?
- What are their competitors doing or others in similar business models that they could learn from?
- Who else would most likely be in on this discussion, whether directly or indirectly?
These are just a handful of questions you could ask yourself before your next sales call. By preparing in this way, you are much more prepared to engage in a dialogue with your customers and add value to their day. They will be much more inclined to listen to you, return your calls, and introduce you to others. You can be someone who not only has great products and services, but adds tremendous value to the conversation and be perceived as a resource, rather than a nuisance.
Look at your own life. I am sure that you are like most people and are “busy.” You don’t need more people trying to take your time and annoy you with pitches, so why do that to others?
If you want a more complete overview on the process, download my free sales ebook
Technology does not replace human interaction
Everyone looks for new tools and ways to increase productivity. Look at the massive software, app, and plugin market. It seems there are unlimited ways to connect with people, right? So we use our CRMs, Facebook, LinkedIn, text, email, phone, autoresponders, blah blah blah.
My birthday was last week and I received almost two hundred messages, but on about six different platforms. MY GOD! I felt like it was a full time job to jump back and forth between applications.
I worked with a client last week and we looked at the way they were dealing with some online leads. I asked them why they made these calls and send these emails, and they said, “that’s our protocol…” Yikes.
They were calling right away and leaving messages saying to call them back. then immediately sending an email saying call them back. Then calling a few days later, saying …guess what? Yup, call us back.
No wonder these customers aren’t returning calls when we don’t add any value or give them anything to help them. Don’t make it all about you.
Make sure you don’t use technology as a replacement for real conversations and do your best to engage with your customers. Your tools should be an extension of your sales process. Don’t do like a lot of people these days and think call volume and sending their daily email quota is what will make you successful.
Maybe type ONE email a day that is powerful enough that your customer HAS to pick up the phone and call you to say, “WOW, the thing you sent me was amazing and exactly what I needed. let’s talk.”
And when you leave voicemails, don’t give them the old, “Hey it’s Bob, I wanted to check in and see if you were still interested in my blah blah blah…”
Treat your customers as people
The best gift you can give your customers is the feeling that they used their time wisely when engaging with you. Regardless of whether they buy or not.
By connecting with one person at a time, you dramatically increase your win rates, decrease your to do lists, and give yourself more freedom.
The reason most salespeople are “busy” is that they are just doing a bunch of stuff, pretending it’s work.
Let’s make a commitment that we won’t bother people unless we have something to say – you in? Do you have any tips like this? Leave your comments below and remember to share
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