Relationships between brands, sales and customers have changed. The increased competition, the ability the customers have to perform their own research combined with the new technology available, have led customers to expect a fully personalized buying process. Relationship selling is a sales approach focused on creating relationships. People buy from people they trust; and the best way to build trust is by creating value and establishing mutually beneficial relationships. Here are some good habits we all need to develop:
Stephen R. Covey, author of “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change,” spoke the truth when he said, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” As sales people, it is hard not to talk about your product. However, everything comes down to the following: how can your product solve the needs of your customer? The more information you collect, the better position you’re in to present your advantage over competitors and create a valuable proposition.
Customers can go through an incredible amount of research on products / services before they buy. Remember however that the abundance of information goes both ways. Learn as much as possible about your client’s business and his problems. Check their corporate website, LinkedIn & Facebook page and read any relevant articles on review sites. Provide helpful information and ideas on a regular basis and be sure the information you provide is valuable to the client and not just another sales pitch.
Customize every sales presentation and make sure it will be memorable. No matter what you are selling, the presentation IS the performance. Prove that your presentation has been personalized in the first 60 seconds. Don’t start with why your company is great; start with how you can help your customer’s company.
Just like dating, it’s important to know where you stand. The time it takes to chase down a not-so-serious buyer is time taken away from other valuable deals in your pipeline. Remember: ‘No’ is the second best response to a ‘Yes’—sometimes it’s not worth wasting your time on someone who’s not that into you.
People do business with people they like – it’s a brutal truth of selling. If you’re cold or if you’re pushy or insincere, your customer will decide to spend their time – and money - elsewhere. So remember to smile, (it stimulates positive feelings and confidence), maintain eye contact, speak clearly and loud enough to be comfortably heard and deliver a firm handshake.