To make a sale in business, you need to have a strategy, consistency, and the ability to relate to people well. Some businesses avoid active selling, choosing instead to wait until a customer wanders their way, prepared to make a purchase. These companies don’t tend to stick around for long.
One of the first reasons that stop people from becoming a sales superstar is that they don’t want to be perceived as being pushy. But let’s face it…when you own or manage a business, your very survival is dependent on making sales. The very best salespeople don’t have to resort to pushiness because they understand that the most effective sales method comes in three parts: building up a relationship, recognizing expectations, and following through.
When deciding when and how to make a purchase, most customers will opt to buy from a person that they trust. Every salesperson is different, and some may be able to create a relationship with a customer faster than others. The key to building a relationship is to identify the common ground between yourself or your company and the client you are pursuing. The more that you can identify these common factors, the better your foundation will be with your customer. When you have accomplished this correctly, a customer does not feel pushed because they can tell that you genuinely want to help them to meet their needs or desires, not simply to sell to whoever may come in the door.
When it comes to serving a customer’s needs, you may find that your product doesn’t meet the professed needs of the customer. This can be frustrating for salespeople who aren’t prepared. Realize, however, that while the person may not be an ideal customer for your product, they could have a friend or relative who would be. When you generate positive relationships, you increase the likelihood that a client will bring additional business to your company. Supporting relationships with your clients builds up positive interactions that lead to additional business in the short term and long term.
Chances are that you sell a particular product or service because you believe that someone out there truly needs it. Some of the people who need it may be aware of their need, but others may not have discovered it yet. In all likelihood, other businesses are pursuing the same kinds of customers that you are, so it is important to have a strategy for helping your customers to understand how you are uniquely positioned to take care of their needs.
Even if a customer has a great need for a product, you will only be able to sell your product or service to them if they want it. By figuring out the customer’s level of interest, you increase your chances of using a sales approach that is going to be effective by having the right expectations as a salesperson.
Both customers and salespeople come into every sale with a set of expectations. To give the right amount of feedback and follow-up to a customer can be difficult to do well. However, when you are able to identify the level of follow-up that the customer is comfortable with, you gain even more trust in the client relationship. Sometimes, the best way to determine how much follow-up a client desires is to simply ask them. If a vague answer is given, follow up with clarification and then let them know exactly when they can expect to hear from you.
Every customer is going to be different in how they prefer to receive communication. Again, the best way to find out what a customer is comfortable with is to ask them directly. This establishes further trust with the client.
Whenever it is possible to do so, try to communicate in a written form. Having something that they can look back over at a later time helps the customer immensely and it also gives you a written record of your interactions with a client, which can be helpful further down the road for reference.
Sometimes, while making a sale, you’ll be referred to an assistant or a person in a lower level of authority. While this may initially seem like a bad thing, it can be a powerful tool for your business when you are able to befriend or gain the trust of an assistant, who often has sway or purchasing power within the company. Building trust with an assistant may take creativity, but can greatly increase your chances of getting through to the main leader.
Sometimes, even with the best of intentions, a salesperson can push too far, too hard, or too fast. When this happens, make sure to apologize quickly to the customer and clarify the expectations that they have for future communication. When you are able to resolve a mistake quickly, it can show that you pay attention to what the customer wants and are willing to work hard to make things right.
By paying attention to each of these areas as you attempt to build your business, you can become a sales superstar with great client relationships.
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