What do you sell?
Lumber, heavy equipment, homes, professional services? Buyers do not take the purchase of a big-ticket item or a professional service lightly. Their final decision to buy may not come down to the quality or price of the product; it may come down to you!
These larger purchases are not like going to a hardware store and buying a few nuts and bolts, where it really doesn’t matter if the sales person is likable or not. It’s just a handful of hardware. If you are trying to sell something that has a price tag in the thousands of dollars, people are not going to buy from you if they don’t like or trust you. Before you sell a product or service, you have to sell yourself first.
The big thing to remember is to focus more on the potential customer and their issues than on yourself and your company. Be an intense listener, ask insightful questions and offer creative ideas. Once a client is comfortable that you really do care about them, they will ask about your company.
It is also important, if time permits, to talk about things other than work. A healthy customer relationship can be built on talking about unrelated topics such as sports, hobbies, families, etc. Most people would rather talk about their favourite sports or their children’s accomplishments than work. That’s human nature and it goes a long way to building rapport.
The old adage rings true, people won’t buy from someone they don’t like. This makes selling easy, most times all you have to do is to get someone to like you and you’ve got a head start on the sales process. Think about this the next time you start a sales meeting, don’t be in such a hurry to sell your product or service, sell yourself first.