These were very competitive businesses selling tangible products and non-tangible services. Most of us get really pumped when we secure a new customer! So many of us sales minded people live for that! It is a great feeling to know you have a product or service the customer wants and of course it means success for you. For those of you who have sales running through your blood and for those who don’t but have to sell to customers, here are some tips you can use to nurture and sustain a credible relationship with a potential customer/customer:
1) Set yourself apart from the others. Be genuine. Be honest. Show your energy. Have fun!
2) Get to know about your potential customer on a personal level. Are they a Cleveland Indians fan (who isn’t right now!), do they have children, are they from the area, what is their hobby?
3) Ask your potential customer “what is your biggest challenge with __________?” (A topic related to what you are selling). Ask them other questions related to their business that will help you to help them! REALLY listen to what they say (don’t be thinking about what you will say next). Take good notes and use those notes in your next interaction with him/her.
4) Be the expert/become the expert. Offer a solution to their challenge/problem. However, don’t promise something that you really can’t do! Integrity is critical. You will stand out from those who are not knowledgeable, promise the world and cannot deliver. Knowledge and integrity will get you back in the door again and again.
5) At the time, if you are unable to offer them a service or product that solves their issue or provides them with a better service or product, qualify the potential customer—is this someone you will want to follow-up with six months from now and potentially offer them something over time as their needs change or is this customer simply not a match for what you have to offer?
6) If this is a potential viable customer, share with them that you know that needs change over time and that you will check back with them in “X number” of months to see how they are doing. This is a great way to keep the relationship going on the path to a potential credible sale!
Written by: Karen Tercek, CEO/President WWLC Chamber