When you’re selling to potential customers, I sincerely hope you’re not taking a “one night stand” approach with them, for lack of a better term. As always, this was a point I touched on in my last blog post that I really want to elaborate on. No one wants to be sold to, which shouldn’t be a surprise to people anymore. The question then, is how do you sell to people without selling to them? The answer is to build a potentially long lasting relationship with them.
There are many benefits to establishing a relationship with your prospects, but the most obvious advantage is the fact that they’ll trust you, and people are more accepting of products and services being offered to them from people that they trust. Here are some insights to help you keep a personal touch with potential customers.
Don’t Treat Them Like a Target – Stop the sales pitch and start a conversation. In order to build a sincere and serious relationship, you need to have real conversations with people. That means that your sales pitch can’t sound ANYTHING like a sales pitch. Even if you’re just having a conversation, the instant that anyone thinks you’re trying to sell them something it’s over. Talk with them, find out their problems and treat them like real people.
Take Genuine Interest In Them – Taking the last point a little further, don’t feign interest in something a prospect brings up just to impress them. A critical part of building a relationship with people is that you have to be yourself. I know it’s cliché, but you shouldn’t have to put on a “sales persona” every time you talk with a potential customer – in fact, that’s probably the WORST thing you can do. Even though you may think that you might be doing a good job feigning interest, I guarantee that the person you’re speaking with knows and are just politely playing along. Only take an interest in topics that are of actual interest to you, and you’ll get a much better response.
Take Notes And Follow Up – When you’re talking with potential customers, a habit you should already be into is taking notes while you’re chatting. But try and take some notes on comments they make that might be interesting later, like if they mention they’ll be away on vacation or mention they’ll be out of the office to see their child in a play. When you follow up with them and bring up these little anecdotes, you’ll definitely stand out.
What kind of techniques do you use to build a genuine relationship with potential customers? I look forward to your feedback in the comments.