CONNECT AND STAY CONNECTED
by Lynn Giuliani
Ten Tips for Increasing Your Sales
Connect and stay connected. Whether you are meeting someone for the first time or communicating with an established prospect or client every exchange you have is an opportunity to leave a positive lasting impression.
Companies that thrive encourage all their representatives to actively develop a circle of contacts that can help their business grow. These individuals may be clients, local business contacts or the many people we come in contact with just in our every day lives. The goal is to communicate in a professional manner and make a connection with each person you meet. By connection I mean to demonstrate genuine interest in others, find out things about them and “engage” in a relationship.
When you create a positive impression with others and convey a desire to help them, giving you and your company a referral becomes second nature. Remember…follow up separates the amateurs from the professionals. One meeting does not a relationship make! Be creative and think of ways to stay in contact to develop the relationship.
Follow these easy steps and enjoy the view “from the top.”
- Always value the client’s time – don’t waste it. Ask up front how much time they have and stick to the commitment. Be concise, stay on track and always focus on what’s important to the client. Answer the question “what’s in it for me?”
- Define the buyer’s communication style preference. Their style of communication might be fast and direct or more pragmatic and slow. Try to “mirror” your style to theirs. The most successful sales people know how to communicate as close to the style of their client as possible.
- Pinpoint and address the client’s priorities – don’t be focused on your own. If we concentrate on the client’s objectives we never need to worry about being pushy at sales. Our success rate should increase proportionately. The only way to know the clients priorities is to ask. Focus on open-ended questions. Rephrase to confirm that you have understood their priorities and develop rapport.
- Be up-to-date and knowledgeable about your products and services, and the competitions as well. It’s essential to be an expert in your field as well as be well versed as to what the competition has to offer. This is your job! When you know your products and services and speak positively about them with confidence, that belief is transferred and selling becomes much easier. If you are tentative about your product knowledge or lack belief in your products it becomes very difficult to sell. Knowing what the competition has to offer is essential. How can you in good conscience recommend your product or service unless you know how it compares with the competition? Be sure to do your market research and know what options are available for your client.
- Be a professional in word, deed and appearance. Always stay true to your word. Speak the truth, and dress professionally. Dress for where you want to be not for where you are. Judgments are formed in the first 4 seconds of meeting someone. The client decides whether or not they want to do business with you based on their first impressions. Your dress, carriage, communication style and integrity are all conveyed in a short period of time.
- Strive for simplicity and understand the difference between nice-to-know and need-to-know. I’m sure you’ve heard of a person talking themselves in or out of a sale. Simplicity and conveying only what is needed to know is part of being professional. Too much talking, jargon, or trying too hard to convince only gets in the way of the end result which hopefully is the sale.
- Put yourself in the client’s shoes. Be respectful of their values, opinions and priorities. When you think of what is best for the client and look for ways to match their needs and wants to what you have on your menu, selling becomes a natural form of communication. Always think of what is best for the client.
- Define the buyer’s personal and professional objectives. Make them your goals as well. The client’s priorities, issues and values should determine your choice of product and delivery.
- Probe and help meet challenges the buyer faces. There are challenges in all aspects of business. To be an efficient problem solver adds to one’s level of professionalism and therefore success. Here’s where knowing what the competition has to offer and how your products and services best meet the client’s needs comes into play.
- Devote as much time and effort to staying connected as you did to making the connection in the first place. Follow up separates the amateurs from the professionals! Many times once the sale is made one never hears from the sales person again. The most successful sales people genuinely want to help the client, stay in communication with them and provide ongoing service. Sales and service are interchangeable; together they make one’s business grow. Always keep the client’s objectives and priorities in mind. When they are happy you succeed.
True professionals are always striving to improve their delivery and performance. After a business development call ask yourself these questions to see where you can improve. Learning should never stop and practice makes perfect. The more you make business development calls the easier they become and the more these steps become second nature. Managers or peers can help each other too by answering these questions after a joint call.
Analyze your performance:
- How did I appear to the client?
- Was I confident and knowledgeable?
- Did I differentiate the benefits of my product?
- Did I determine the client’s needs?
- Was there anything else I could have offered to explain or demonstrate the product or service?
- What objections to the product did the client have?
- Did I respond to them with reasons why the product would actually benefit the client by saving him/her money or time?
- Did I offer peace of mind?
- Did I offer convenience?
- Did I offer prestige?
- Did I, in fact, start building a lifetime relationship with that client?
- Did I present all the facts and offer alternatives?
Here’s wishing you success in selling and lifelong connections! Happy sales to you…
Call Lynn at 360 319-6776 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
She will gladly help you with your sales success through individual sales coaching, classroom training or custom designed programs.
* Featured Book of the Month*
Book: Jeffrey Gitomer's Little Black Book of Connections
-by Jeffrey Gitomer
People in all kinds of jobs, in big and small companies career builders, sales people, and aspiring executives will love this edgy, practical, and fun book In the spirit, style, and format of the bestselling Little Red Book of Selling, the country's #1 sales trainer, Jeffrey Gitomer, offers a fresh take on networking and connecting your way to success. The Little Black Book of Connections is based on the power of give value first. It's about how you can climb the ladder without stepping on people's backs. It's about how to earn the respect of a powerful mentor without begging. It's about how to build stronger relationships with customers, bosses, co-workers, vendors, friends, and family. It's about being in the same room with powerful people. It's about how to connect and how to not connect. It's about how to say the right things to the right people in the right circumstances to make the right impression. The book is small. The cover is classic black cloth. The four-color text graphics makes it attractive and easy to read the compelling content is easy to understand and implement.
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TODAY'S ACTION PLAN
Take just a moment every day to initiate a phone call, write a note or make a personal connection to create a new business or personal friendship.