We were asked recently to help a sales team improve their relationships with customers and prospects.
Relationship selling is a funny old thing.
There’s the line that says people buy off people – can’t disagree with that – although nowadays people also buy in great numbers off Amazon and Ebay.
Then there’s the group that say their customers buy off them because of their relationship.
Well, if that’s true, answer me this – How many bad second hand cars would you buy off your brother?
Each of those statements contains some truth – neither contains the answer to the perfect sales situation.
It dawned on me though – since we’re talking about creating meaningful relationships – that there are at least 5 similarities between most sales situations and your average date.
1. You Don’t Have to Start Planning the Wedding on the First Date
Wo there – schlow down!
I think you’re really nice an’ all, but your crazy desperation is scaring the bejeezus out of me!
Many people who think cold calling doesn’t work, live under the impression that it’s all about making “the sale” at first contact.
However, there are times when cold calling is about earning the right to proceed, planting a few seeds of information, taking your time to get to know each other.
Let’s treat this like the thing it is – human interaction
2. More Dates = More Success?
If you were looking for Mr/Miss Right you wouldn’t throw yourself at every opportunity, would you?
Oh, maybe you would (I’m not here to judge).
But I reckon you’d narrow it down to the people who were “your type“, people you found attractive, people you had something in common with, people who made you smile.
Hey, how about someone who made everyone you knew jaw-droppingly jealous!
There’s also the option of trying to find someone who you thought you could possibly have a future with?
Focus on Quality not Quantity.
Stop throwing yourself at every “potential” customer as if they all had the same chance of success.
Before you go to your next commercial version of speed-dating, work out what kind of prospective client is going to be a perfect fit for you, your product and your service.
What type of person have you reallyhelped in the past?
3. Don’t Do ALL the Talking
You don’t have to do all the listening either – but will you please take a bit of interest in your date.
They say that everyone’s favourite subject is themselves – not completely true – there are times you can’t get a prospect to say anything worthwhile – oh well, everyone’s different!
Engage in a conversation that ebbs and flows – ask questions, listen to answers, clarify understanding – I challenge you to engage with your customers in a way that allows them to feel truly understood.
4. Are You Really Happy to be HERE?
It’s amazing how empathic people are – in a very short time they can almost feel your mood.
However that 6th sense can also be influenced by the way you’re acting.
Don’t make them feel uncomfortable, ill at ease – cease the moment, enjoy yourself
You can’t expect a prospective customer to get excited about what you’re selling if you’re not – and you really can’t expect them to be comfortable and happy in a room with somebody who doesn’t want to be there, or has better things to do.
Recently on YouTube I posted a short film about becoming evangelical with regards to how you help – get in there before the nearly men and charlatans get in before you and sell them something they don’t need or overcharge them for something they didn’t want.
People react to positivity and passion.
Quick tip – they can smell desperation too!
5. Leaving Voice Messages
I don’t want to leave too many messages – I don’t want to look desperate.
Oh gawd, I thought it went really well, but now I’m being “avoided”
OK, I don’t want to be thought of a crazy stalker – I’ll back off.
You leave a couple of messages for your customer, they don’t get back to you (they rarely do), you leave it be.
After a while, you’ve left it too late and now, even if they were interested, they’ll probably tell you they’ve moved on.
But what if the customer is thinking actually this;
“I am busy, it is not my job to call you, you’re the one selling something – and unless I tell you that I’m not interested, you have no idea what I am currently thinking. I really want what you’ve got to offer – it will help me – but I’m really bogged down by MY day job. Help me out and give me a call, will ya!”
My new book – Selling with EASE: The Four Step Sales Cycle Found in Every Successful Business Transaction is now available from Kindle and as a Paperback. If you’d like a preview, you can download the first 30 pages as a PDF document – completely free – by clicking right here
Chris Murray is founder and Managing Director of Varda Kreuz Training, a company created to deliver sales, management and customer service training that really works – not in theory and not just sometimes – training that really works.
If you would like to discuss how we can help to develop your team, email us now on firstname.lastname@example.org, give us a call on 0844 293 9777 – or follow this link to find out a little more about our courses and workshops.
If you were looking to book a training workshop for an individual rather than an in-house training course for an entire team you’ll find everything you need over at our Open Workshops Page by following this link.