People that are paying for a product or service are not your clients; they’re simply customers, the client is someone who keeps on coming back because they trust you.
I started watching “White Gold” on Netflix and then just didn’t stop. I always have believed that “time” is the most luxurious and coveted gift. Therefore it should be used wisely. You may think that several consecutive hours of Netflix is not exactly a good use of time… So lets just say “White Gold” was a very droll educational series of “what not to do” as a sales person.
Set in 80’s Britain with phenomenal music and costuming during the height of the “Double Glazing” industry is what drew me in… Not just the nostalgia of growing up in the UK but also the sales aspect. Vincent Swan the lead character reminded me of one of my old bosses, all he cared about was getting rich people to part with their hard earned cash, he wasn’t really too concerned how. I remember he used to scream across the room “we don’t sell milk” meaning the sale was not just a transactional process, but a bit of a dog and pony show… The thing is, his idea of a dog and a pony show was very different to mine. Telling the client anything and everything you think they need to hear is not how to build the foundation for long lasting patronage. However, spending the time to learn a client’s wants and needs, collaborating with them while maintaining the expert position and educating them as you go through the process on product and services is how you do maintain a fantastic working relationship.
What do you need in order to sell a product or service that requires more than a basic transaction?
TO BE AN EXCELLENT COMMUNICATOR
Communicate with the following:
Knowledge – Be an expert in your field, understand your products and services, policies and procedures. Demonstrate this.
Psychology – Be open to people, their different personality types, what sort of a day they may have had. Look at their faces, eyes, actions and words in order to be responsive. Show that you understand.
Patience – Take the time to get to know whom you are working with, understand you may not sell them first time around. Be informative and let them know why you, your product and services are different. Actively take the time.
Honesty – Be upfront about what you offer and the process, set expectations and keep the lines of communication open. Own it.
Passion – This is the sizzle to go with the steak, believe in what you do. Enjoy it and exude it.
My Personal top 5 sales tips
for long lasting patronage
- SPEND THE TIME ON YOUR FIRST APPOINTMENT: Building rapport cannot be done in 30 minutes. You need to start at the first point of contact, whether it is via phone, email or as soon as the person walks through your door. You need to ooze sunshine, and still get to the point. Building rapport begins with the short version of who you are and what you do. Then it’s about gathering information on your potential client. Ask open-ended questions and wait for answers.
- DISCOVER THE OPPORTUNITY: By asking questions, listening and understanding you are able to discover wants, needs and personality traits that can help you provide solutions for a potential client. If someone has approached you they are obviously interested in what you are selling. Once you have some answers you can discover the opportunity. Weigh up the information you have and look for real and viable solutions.
- PROCESS THE INFORMATION TO FIND A SOLUTION: Once you have the information collected, you will know if there is an honest fit with you and what you do. Do not sell just for the money. You will lose that client forever and they will tell everyone that will listen about their experience with you, your service or product. Sell because there is a need or want and you can respond to it with your service or product. This is an excellent time to discuss the features and benefits of what you can offer your potential client in depth.
- EXPLAIN EXACTLY WHAT THE CLIENT CAN EXPECT: Set expectations for your client and make sure they are realistic. Time frames, price points and quality. Remember you cannot get price, quality and speed all at the same time, if your client wants something inexpensive it is not going to be quick or good quality. If they want it quick and good quality there will be a price to pay. If they are willing to wait for good quality, the price may come down. Think about it!
- DELIVER AND IF YOU CAN’T OWN IT: If something goes wrong with the product or service you have started the transaction for… Own it. Find a solution as soon as possible, call the client and explain immediately. Ensure you offer sound solutions to rectify the situation. It sounds intimidating but in my experience it is easier to just get it over and done with. Decent people appreciate the honesty and that you offer them a viable solution.
Good reading for selling success:
Versatile Selling – Wilson Learning Library
Beyond Referrals – Bill Cates
Buy-ology – Martin Lindstrom