(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

12 Great Selling Skills! Selling Through Relationships

12 Great Selling Skills

Chapter 4: Selling Through Relationships

Always remember that your own determination

to achieve success is far more important

than all other factors. – Abraham Lincoln

One of the greatest breakthroughs in the new sales age

was the discovery of the concept of “positioning”

– the way people think and perceive you.

It is the aggregate result of all your interactions

with your customers

and is largely influenced

by first impressions.

Your positioning in the minds

and hearts of your customers is likely

to be the most powerful factor in determining

how much you sell over time.

If you like, respect and care about

the person selling a product,

and you have complete confidence

that the product is of excellent quality,

it will instantly improve your life in some way,

you’re 95% of the way to a buying decision

before the salesperson even opens his mouth

to talk to you.

Positioning is everything.

How do customers think about your company,

products/services,

and yourself?

What words do customers usually use

when they think of you

or describe you to others?

Imagine a customer calls you

and tells you that

she is having lunch with one

of your potential customers.

This customer really likes you

and wants to help you.

She asked,

“What do you want me

to tell this potential client about you?

In order for you to sell your products,

what should I say about you?”

How do you answer this?

This is such an important question

that you mustn’t miss your chance

to come up with a perfect answer.

And incidentally,

there is an “attitude theory” about positioning.

An idea is something you can leave a lot of impressions

on in a client’s mind,

but attitude is far more dominant.

This attitude is a quick action

that determines

whether the other customer buys your product/service,

continues to buy,

or tells their friends

about your product/service do you provide.

Imagine the brain as a warehouse that has been filled

with drawers full of drawers.

Every customer has a mental file cabinet

for storing all the impressions

and experiences about you and your company,

right from the first contact.

You also have a mental archive

with impressions of all the people you’ve met,

the places you’ve been,

the situations you’ve been through in life

since your teenage years.

Some of the mental document boxes are quite small,

possibly a remembrance of the restaurant

where you dined many,

many years ago.

Some document boxes are quite large,

such as the ones you have with your spouse,

children,

parents, friends, school, and work.

But every time you have a new experience,

you immediately open a box of mental documents

and put in first impressions.

And the first impression is always the most lasting impression,

sometimes will follow you for the rest of your life.

Your position in the customer’s mind

– how they think and perceive you

– determines whether they will buy from you,

how long they will spend making a purchase decision,

how much they will bargain,

and whether they will buy your product/service again

or refer you to their friends.

“Rich people do what is hard,

that is why their life is easy.” – Dan Lok

**************

The Golden Triangle of Sales

This formula is based on experience drawn

from top sellers around the world.

Thousands of customers have been interviewed over the years

and asked the same specific question about

how they think the best salespeople have ever contacted them.

They all describe the best salespeople,

in every industry in the world,

in three main ways

—as a friend,

as a consultant,

and as a teacher.

“You can’t get rich, looking poor.” – Dan Lok

****************

1. As a friend.

Customers see the salesperson as a friend,

someone who genuinely cares about them,

even more than selling.

When customers start

to think of you as a friend

who just recently sold a product/service they purchased,

they will remain loyal to you

and assume

that you represent the product/service.

It’s nearly impossible for your competitors

to get that customer

with a better price or offer.

As Shakespeare once wrote,

the friends you have,

when tested, bind them

to you with a “ring of steel”.

When you develop a genuine friendship

with a customer,

create a lasting relationship based on mutual respect,

it is this relationship that will keep

that customer coming back

to buy the product/service over

and over again,

year after year.

(We will return to the topic of “a friend” later in this chapter.)

“I’ve only had two rules.

Do all you can and do it the best you can.” – Colonel Sanders

**************

2. A consultant.

Customers think of the best salespeople

as trusted professionals

who give good advice

to help them improve their lives or their jobs,

both with products and services.

products/services that the seller sold

and in other areas as well.

When customers start to see you as a consultant,

an expert in your field,

they will eventually form

the habit of not buying the same product/service

from anyone other than you.

How do you know which clients consider themselves a consultant?

Very simple.

When a competitor approaches them

with a product/service similar

to the one you sell,

they will call you and ask you

for advice on your competitor’s product.

They know that you will always tell the truth

and will help them make the right decision.

When your customers start calling you

and expressing a desire

to get advice from you about your competitors,

you know you’ve made it

to the top 10% of sales professionals,

in terms of sales on both sales results and earnings.

“Service is the best thing in the world you can give your customers.” – Colonel Sanders

****************

3. Teachers.

Customers see the best salespeople as a teacher

who shows them how

to get the best out of the product/service they’re selling.

Furthermore, the best salespeople take the trouble

to show customers all the necessary information

and all the relevant issues

so that they can make the best choice.

This is an important discovery

when it comes to selling in this day and age,

and this discovery will influence your business outcomes

for the rest of your sales career.

The following story will help

confirm the importance of coaching in sales.

***************

The Story of IBM

During the 1980s,

IBM was one of the most admired companies in the world.

Then, a new president ran the company

with a new philosophy.

He concluded that IBM no longer needed

to spend so much time

and effort selling its products/services.

Now the company has gone far beyond the status of a “mediocre” company

with marketing and sales.

Instead, IBM is a “scientific” company.

With this new approach,

the sales staff were treated

as if they were the rags in the company.

They are burdened

with completing a huge amount of paperwork

after each contact with a customer.

Sales executives are required

to spend almost all of their time reviewing sales staff’s reports.

As a result, salespeople spend less

and less time actually doing their professional work.

If customers have questions they need answered,

they will be directed to call a hotline,

where they can be served

by a telephone operator

instead of meeting a salesperson in person

and hearing the answer for all your questions.

Immediately,

IBM’s competitor saw a huge opportunity.

They started offering seminars

and in-service training classes

to teach customers how to get the most out of the devices

and software they provided to their customers.

IBM’s sales plummeted.

Share prices also fell.

Experts from Wall Street began

to study the hypothesis that

IBM should be divided into four units and

might have to sell these units to a competitor.

The company almost disappeared from the sky.

The board finally took action.

They fired the new chairman

and eventually all the board members that

the other president had promoted.

They did a thorough research

before making the final decision to hire Lou Gerstner,

the former CEO of Nabisco,

to revive the company if he could.

Gerstner started his career

with a job at McKinsey & Company,

one of the best management consulting firms in the world.

He called them and asked them for advice and help.

McKinsey & Company sent a team of experts

who roamed the country interviewing IBM’s customers

and competitors to find out what was causing IBM’s problems

in such a short period of time.

They have found that during the busiest times,

IBM salespeople spend a lot of time working face-to-face,

working shoulder to shoulder with their customers

to help them maximize the benefits they receive.

they can get from IBM products.

But under the command of the new (now former) president,

salespeople were virtually forbidden

from spending time with their customers.

As a result, their customers find it easier

to make decisions about competitors’ products/services over IBM’s.

With the results of this survey,

Gerstner did two things.

First, he quickly found a way

to increase the number of employees working

in the sales department.

He assembled a team of office workers and engineers,

trained them in sales,

and sent them out to meet customers.

Next, he made the decision that from now on,

75% of the time of sales

and business managers should be spent

on their professional work,

working with customers,

instead of working with customers in the office.

If needed

Once the business reports are completed,

sales assistants will be hired to do the paperwork.

As a result,

in a very short time,

the company’s business situation has made significant changes.

Huge losses are replaced by huge profits.

The stock price skyrocketed by more than 50%.

IBM has once again become one of the most highly regarded

and most profitable companies in the world.

IBM has really come out of

the “thousands of pounds hanging hair” situation

in a spectacular way.

The lesson from the IBM story is

that you and your salespeople shouldn’t underestimate

the importance of educating your customers

to maximize the benefits your product/service has bring.

The assumption that customers will find out

for themselves the product/service

they have just purchased is not fair and not right at all.

************

Three sales strategies

The golden triangle of sales

—as a friend,

as a consultant,

and as a teacher

—requires you to use three strategies

in your sales work simultaneously.

As you become proficient with these strategies,

your business results will skyrocket.

Your customers will be very happy.

They will buy your product/service

and you will earn more than ever.

***********************

SELL BY CREATE RELATIONSHIP

This is where you position yourself as a friend.

The first thing you do is take the time

to build a relationship.

You ask many questions

and listen attentively to the answers.

You care about all that concerns your customer in which

not only matters that may be related

to whether he will buy your product/service

but also whether he will buy your product/service,

what he likes and doesn’t like,

his current position

and what happened in the past

and other problems in his life,

matters far more important than what you are selling,

whether whatever they are.

But there is a threat in sales

by building relationships that you need to avoid.

That is, when you care too much

about the quality of the relationship,

you become too sensitive

to the thoughts and feelings of the customer.

You want your customers

to like you so much

that you shy away from inviting them

to buy the products/services you sell

and try to live and die to satisfy every customer’s desires,

even if those requests are unreasonable,

or beyond its ability to pay.

Agreeing is the first in all sales,

because only if you can build a good relationship

will you be qualified

to promote the sale.

Relationships are important,

but it’s not everything.

Selling by building relationships will be the main topic

of the remainder of this chapter.

****************

SELL BY CONSULTANCY

You position yourself as a trusted advisor,

expert,

and advisor to your clients

by focusing on helping them solve their problems

or achieve their goals have set.

Customers are often very busy.

The most likely customer is the one who

is often overloaded with too much

to do and too little time to do it.

If they’d spent a little bit of their day talking to you,

they would have felt that

it was an important and valuable investment.

When you position yourself as a consultant,

you ask well-prepared

and thoughtful questions about your clients

to help them think better

and more clearly about the situations they are in,

about their future

as well as their real needs and requirements.

By asking smart questions about your customers,

you make yourself valuable to them

and make them more open

and ready to see you again and again.

In terms of the relational aspect of sales,

the emotional part is very important.

But the real “beef” in the sales relationship is

when the customer sees you as a special

and important factor in improving their lives

and work at a reasonable cost.

The more relevant questions you ask that are tailored

to understand your client’s problems

and needs, and the more relevant advice you can provide,

to address those issues and help them achieve their goals,

what they’re craving,

the more likely

they’ll see you as a valuable resource.

We will explore all the issues related

to selling by consulting in chapter 5 of this book.

****************

SELL BY EDUCATION

This is where you position yourself as a teacher,

showing potential customers

how they can get the best out of using your product/service.

What’s interesting about education,

especially during the presentation of the sales process,

is that all of the “lessons”

you teach your customers

will increase the customer’s desire

to buy your product/service time increase the loyalty

they have for you and your product

to you after your purchase.

Not only that,

the better you “train” your customers,

the more likely they are

to talk to others about what

you sell and

how they can get the best out of your products/services

the taller you will be.

By taking the time to educate your customers,

you will actually turn them into your advocates

who will eventually sell your product/service to others

by talking about the benefits they are getting.

*****************

Emotional foundation of relationships

Sales has undergone significant changes in recent years,

from a fast process,

unaffected by human emotions,

to a slower and more influenced process buyer’s feelings.

The crux of selling today lies in the quality of the relationships

you create with your potential

and existing customers.

The best and most successful salespeople are those

who are best able

to create and maintain good relationships with people

who can buy their products

and refer them to them,

friends and colleagues.

The very actions

and qualities that have helped you become attuned

to the most important people in your personal life

are the same actions

and qualities that

can help you develop a long-lasting relationship

of trust mutual trust with customers.

According to Theodore Levitt,

a longtime professor at Harvard Business School,

all transactions made in the 21st century

will be relationship-based transactions.

These transactions will be based largely on

how the customer feels about the seller

and the company providing the product/service.

People will work with people they like.

They refuse to do business with people they don’t like,

even if they want and like products/services sold

by people they don’t like.

If the relationship is good enough,

the details won’t be so important

to the customer’s decision

to buy the product/service you offer,

but if the relationship isn’t good enough,

the details will stand in your way walk

on the road to conquer customers.

I will sometimes ask my audience members

to my sales conversations,

“What do you think is the ratio between logic

and emotion that a person considers

when making a buying decision?”

They will answer:

“80/20! 90/10! 50/50”…

That’s when I stopped and pointed out that,

like them,

customers are 100% emotional.

People make decisions emotionally

and then justify it as logical.

People are completely controlled by their emotions,

whether they hide,

suppress,

or ignore them.

The basic rule is that “emotions distort values”.

I mean, any emotion,

whether positive or negative,

magnifies

and deepens the participants’ actions and reactions.

If I like you,

I’ll see everything you say

and offers in a more beautiful,

shimmering light.

If I’m not impressed with you, even worse,

if I don’t really like you,

I’ll see everything you say

and your offers in a negative light.

*************

Friendship factor

The key to sales success is

to develop an ongoing broader circle of friendships

with your colleagues and customers.

The three keys to developing the friendship element are attention,

care, and politeness.

First, you need to make it clear that you care about your customers

by asking the right questions

and paying close attention to everything they say.

You’ve probably heard the saying,

“They don’t care what you know

until they know how much you care.”

The first question that pops into the minds

of potential customers

when they first meet you will be:

“Are you interested in me?”

You demonstrate customer care,

going beyond what your product/service provides,

by asking questions

and showing interest in the customer’s life and business, problems,

and issues unrelated

to the product you are discussing.

Even if it seems like a detour

to developing a sales relationship,

it is often the fastest and most direct route.

By showing concern

and care for your customers,

you make them naturally feel interested in you and like you more.

The third part of the friendship element is politeness,

courtesy.

It is a very true fact that your showing courtesy,

kindness,

courtesy to everyone you meet at your client’s home or work,

and especially to the client himself,

will make you feel better,

you stand out among those

who focus only on making sales and ignore all else.

One of the best ways to start the first meeting

with a client is to say something like,

“Thanks for your time.

I know you are very busy.”

Simple Sentences

This brochure positions you as an expert.

You acknowledge that the person you are talking

to is an important person

and that he has done you a favor

by agreeing to speak with you.

This simple statement often breaks the ice

and makes your potential customers more open

to what you have to say.

It initiates a good sales relationship.

The top-earning salespeople

see each new customer interaction

as the beginning of a lasting friendship.

It is not unusual for the first contact at work

to turn into a friendship

that lasts for many years,

both at work and in private life.

Over the course of my career,

I have forged professional friendships that

spanned more than 30 years.

And these friendships brought me

a lot of big sales and deals.

************

The Power of Fame

The fastest growing and most profitable companies are those whose products

and services have the best reputation in the market.

For example, Nordstrom is famous in the country

for its impeccable customer service.

There were hundreds of powerful competitors

in every market

in which Nordstrom opened,

and the company soon surpassed

almost all of them with the quality of its customer service.

That is not a coincidence.

Nordstrom’s reputation is extremely important

and it is nurtured in all customer interactions.

Much of Google’s success lies in the incredibly talented people

it attracts to work.

Google regularly tops the list of companies rated

as “a great place to work”.

The company does all it can

to make every experience

at Google a positive and enriching one.

As a result, the brightest

and most talented technologists

and business professionals are ready

to apply and work at Google

whenever the company has a hiring need.

**************

What is your company’s reputation?

What do people think, say, and describe your company?

What words do people use

when they describe your company to non-customers?

Your answers to these questions largely determine the future

and fate of the business you operate.

In the eighteenth century

and in the early years of the twentieth century,

there was a company specializing in the production

and export of coffee on the island

of Hawaii called Lion Coffee.

This company has built a very good reputation

in providing quality products

with impeccable service.

Over the decades,

the founder died,

the company changed hands several times,

and eventually it fell into bankruptcy.

Then a group of people decided

to start a company that grows,

roasts,

packs,

and distributes coffee in Hawaii.

During the establishment of the company,

they happened to know the reputation

and history of Lion Coffee.

They quickly discovered that the name was still remembered

by customers

and had almost become a symbol of product quality.

They accept to pay several million dollars just

to get that name for their business.

Even though the old Lion Coffee had been inactive

for so many years,

its name was still so powerful that

when they started a new company with that brand,

within a few years,

it was already gone,

became the most successful

and highly regarded company in the Hawaiian island area,

and continues to operate successfully to this day.

************

Your personal reputation

In the same way,

your reputation is

the greatest asset you have in life as well as in work.

Those are the qualities and behaviors

that people know and remember about you.

That’s how people think and talk about you.

As Shakespeare remarked,

when you lose your wallet,

you’ve just lost a piece of trash,

but when you lose your good reputation,

you’ve lost everything.

In business, your reputation,

or how you are known to your customers,

is the single most important factor in determining your sales and earnings.

And the best rule you need to remember

when building your reputation is “everything counts”!

Everything that you do,

or refuse to do,

counts.

Everything you say counts.

Everything has the effect of helping or hurting.

Everything is added or taken away.

It will take you a long time to build a personal reputation;

You need integrity and the ability

to work hard to maintain your reputation,

and it can be easily lost quickly by one misstep.

Dan Sullivan, a business teacher,

says that there are three basic principles

to building a good reputation in sales:

(1) Say please and thank you.

(2) Arrive on time and always be on time.

(3) Keep promises; always do what you say you will do.

These things sound simple,

but it’s amazing how many sales professionals there are

The customer forgot to be polite,

was always late when meeting with the customer,

and did not pay any attention to doing what was promised

to be done during the meeting.

***********

Reputation of the best sellers

Your place in the minds and hearts of your customers,

and the way they think about you

and talk about you when you’re not there,

is the affirmation of your reputation.

All the best salespeople are described

in highly positive if not enthralled terms

by their customers.

And it seems that our esteemed customers use the same words

to describe the best salespeople in every field.

First, they say,

“They work for me.”

This means that the salesperson shows

such particular attention to the customer’s situation

and needs that the other customer actually feels

as if the salesperson cares more about them

than about completing the job by a transaction.

This is one of the most important insights you can develop

by focusing on your customer’s needs at all times.

Make sure your product/service is always second or third.

Customers will sometimes describe a salesperson

as their “unpaid employee”.

In this respect, customers are saying that

they can contact the seller whenever,

by phone or by email,

when they have a problem

or need related to the product/service provided by the seller.

Another way customers describe the best salespeople is:

“like a friend, a consultant,

a trusted advisor.”

The way salespeople build the perception

in the prospect’s mind that

they are a trusted advisor is to ask questions

and find ways to help the prospect achieve his or her goals

and objectives improve your life or work.

The more you focus on helping your prospect,

the more likely that prospect will see you

as someone truly different and more useful than your competitors.

Sometimes the customer will say that

the salesperson “really understands my situation”.

How do customers get this perception of you?

Very simple.

You are constantly asking questions about the client’s situation,

listening attentively to the answers,

and providing the ideas

and support needed to help the client in that area.

Customers, like everyone else,

are lazy.

They look for the path of least resistance

to get what they want,

the fastest and easiest way possible.

Once a client has formed a relationship with you

and is convinced that you know

and understand them and their situation,

they will feel less ready to start a new relationship

with any organization/individual,

any other person with the same business as you.

Everyone will quickly fall into a “comfort zone”.

They are comfortable doing things a particular way

and are often reluctant to change or try something new.

For this reason,

when you build

and maintain a strong relationship with your customers,

they will often continue that relationship

with you and continue to use your product/service for a while,

very long time.

************

A disastrous decision

A manufacturing company in Chicago,

my client, sells machine tools to other Midwest manufacturers.

One day, the board members sat together

and analyzed their business for that year.

They were surprised to find

that there was a salesman who sold 50% of their total sales

and his sales amounted to several million dollars.

This salesman has been with the company for 20 years.

He has carefully established his client base

and built a large “business book”.

Customers have bought expensive machines

from him year after year,

and even more have bought his products

from the previous generation of the company’s owners

to this generation.

The board of directors of the company made a terrible mistake.

They decided that this salesman had

too many of their customers in his hands,

and,

besides,

he was making too much money.

They agreed that the customers were theirs,

not the salesman’s,

and that the salesman shouldn’t be overpaid just

to serve their customers.

They called the salesman in

and informed him of their decision,

that his sales area would be halved

and commissions would also be reduced.

They explained to him that he was overpaid just

to serve their long-term customers.

*****************

The seller was very gentle.

He pointed out that there was a close friendship between himself

and the other clients

and that if the company split them up and cut his income,

he would have no choice

but to come work for

the company’s competitors and,

of course, bring along the guests

your goods.

Although he doesn’t want to have to,

he has no choice if the company insists on making that decision.

Unfortunately,

the company’s management was never the sales people.

They are the second generation of owners of the company

and have never worked in the field.

They assume,

like all inexperienced people,

that deals simply fall from the sky,

like raindrops, and that all that

What a salesman has

to do is simply grab a few buckets

and collect rainwater,

that is, sit there waiting for customers (and sales)

to arrive and then receive a commission.

The Board of Directors of the company is determined

to implement its decision.

They narrow the area

and cut that seller’s commission.

30 days later he submitted his resignation

and moved to work for a competitor that

had been waiting for him for a long time.

Within 12 months,

90% of his customers switched

to buying from the new company he worked for.

The company that considered him

just a secondary figure

in the other sales was almost about to go bankrupt.

They take many years to recover.

They simply don’t understand the importance

of the seller-buyer relationship

in a competitive market,

where the products/services offered are often similar

to those offered,

each other and are interchangeable.

****************

When relationships are more important

Relationships are even more important in certain situations

or with certain products/services.

For example,

the larger and more complex the transaction,

the more important the relationship becomes.

In large and complex transactions,

there will be too many details

for customers

to analyze and absorb.

The customer must

therefore make a decision

based on something other than

the intricate details of the product/service being offered,

and the “something” is

how the customer feels about the sales rep.

************

The more people affected by a purchase,

the more important the relationship becomes.

Customers, like everyone else,

are very sensitive to the emotions

and reactions of the people they work with.

When a decision maker considers buying a product/service

that others will have to make or use,

his trust in the seller and ultimately the person

who will bring the product

to them is an important factor in decision making.

The longer the shelf life of the product

or the time it takes to make a purchase decision,

the more important the relationship will become.

In fact, relationships will become the most important factor

when a customer buys a product/service

and then has to use that product/service

for many years to enjoy all the value,

that it brings.

IBM has become one of the most highly regarded companies in the world

because of its international reputation

for excellent customer care.

Once you’ve purchased an IBM product,

you’ll never have to worry about malfunctions or breakdowns.

IBM will take care of you under any circumstances,

and often very quickly and efficiently.

For people buying your products/services for the first time,

relationships are extremely important.

In any new sale,

the potential customer is uncertain about whether

or not he should buy the product/service.

The more trust

and confidence a new customer has with the salesperson,

the more comfortable they will feel

when they sign the sale agreement in the first place.

Relationships reduce risk
The most common change in modern selling is risk, or perception of risk. A good relationship reduces the perception of risk. People will be willing to pay a lot to minimize the risk of any purchase decision.

When choosing between a product with a lower price and higher risk ratio and a product with a higher price and lower risk ratio, the customer will always free himself from feelings of stress or anxiety. when having to make purchasing decisions by choosing products with higher price but lower risk.

Once you have a clear idea that a potential customer wants to buy what you’re selling,

identify all the issues the customer might be interested in:

Will it work? Is this a good decision?

Will I lose my money?

Will I end up paying too much?

Can I find another cheaper product?

If I buy this product/service from this company,

will the seller continue to be responsible for the warranties and services?

Your main job in the conversation is

to clearly explain to your customers,

through certificates, through stories that

they will take almost no risk when buying products/services. your.

If a customer says,

“I can get this product cheaper from a competitor,

your pictures,”

you can simply answer,

“Yes, of course.

But do this only if you are willing to take more risks.”

Whenever you can show or demonstrate that

buying a competitor’s product poses more risk to the customer,

you increase the value of the product and

reduce the risk of buying the yours product

in the eyes of this customer.

***************

New sales model

It seems that most sales professionals in every field,

no matter how trained they are,

are slowly transitioning

to what I call the “new sales model.”

The new sales pattern can be described

as an inverted triangle

with the bottom at the top and the top at the bottom.

This triangle will then

be divided into four parts.

The top part of the sales model,

representing 40% of the triangle,

is about building credibility.

Trust is the glue that holds relationships together.

Credibility is the lubricant between people,

it allows them to trust each other’s company.

Trust is the cement that holds all the bricks together

in any relationship.

When you think about this in your life,

you will realize that the people who are most important

to you are also the people you trust the most.

Without trust,

there would be no sales relationship.

That’s why trust makes up 40% of the relational model.

The second part of the new sales model,

which accounts for about 30%,

is precisely identifying the need.

The more clearly you demonstrate your desire

to understand your customer’s needs,

the more likely your customer will trust and trust you.

The more you ask and listen to the answers,

the more likely the customer will become open to you

and give you a lot of information

to help you make a good offer.

Here’s the rule:

Burning the stage kills the transaction.

Even if you do the right thing

but do it wrong in the process or order,

you still kill the transaction.

New salespeople with little experience often break this rule.

When they first meet a new customer,

they introduce themselves

and then immediately start talking about their product/service.

Instead of asking a series of well-prepared

and streamlined questions

to understand the customer’s needs,

they begin their pitch.

And as a result, customers will quickly become wary

and completely avoid.

No trust or relationship can be built

under such circumstances.

It is clear that the salesman does not have any concerns

or thoughts except talking about his products/services

and trying to sell those products/services.

The third part of the new sales model is

to offer your product/service.

In the new sales model,

you will carefully make arguments

or points

to prove that your product/service

is fully capable of meeting the needs of the customer.

You only talk about what the customer really cares about.

Like hands protected in gloves,

your solution needs to fit the needs they’ve expressed.

You should say to the customer:

“You say you have this need or concern.

And my product/service fulfills that

particular need in this way.”

Often the objection comes up

when you stop talking about the things your customers care about.

As long as what you say is responsive

to the customer’s opinions and concerns,

they will still listen to you fully.

There is a rule of communication that states:

“No one argues with their own information.”

If you talk about your product/service

from your own point of view,

the customer may argue

and constantly express disagreement

However, if you respond to the customer’s comments in your offer,

the customer cannot

and will not argue with you.

They love hearing their thoughts

and concerns answered

by a smart and experienced salesperson like you.

The fourth part of the modern sales model,

the apex of the triangle,

is confirmation or completion.

Luckily, if you’ve built a high degree of credibility

by focusing on identifying needs

and how you can help your customers improve their lives or work,

and you’ve shown that

If your product/service can accomplish that goal,

it’s usually relatively easy

to complete the transaction.

Sometimes it happens very naturally.

At the end of a successful pitch,

if you’ve done all of the above,

the prospect will often say,

“Oh, that sounds like a great fit to me.

When will I be able to receive it?”

Perhaps the greatest success of a sales pitch is

when the customer agrees

to buy your product/service

without even asking for a price.

When you build a high level of credibility,

customers will know that the price you offer,

no matter what,

will be reasonable and genuine.

Customers have complete confidence that you work to

respond to what interests him most.

The key to building relationships
The key to building a sales relationship is trust and credibility.

Your credibility

– how much your customers trust and expect from you

– is the single most important factor in determining

how much you can sell,

how fast you sell,

how much money you make,

and how much money you make

and your standard of living for the rest of your life.

Trust and credibility are everything.

There are five steps to effective listening.

As you learn how to listen effectively,

follow these steps closely,

and you’ll be amazed at

how quickly a trust-based relationship can be built

with your clients

and with everyone else in your life.

*************

STEP 1: ASK GOOD PREPARED QUESTIONS

Like a good lawyer in court,

you need to be prepared with well-thought-out questions.

Write those questions down and even practice in advance.

Your questions should go

from general to specific,

well-structured,

intelligent,

and designed to extract good information

from the customer.

*************

STEP 2: CAREFULLY LISTEN TO THE ANSWER

Learn to follow up.

Be an effective listener

and encourage others to keep talking.

Focus your eyes on the customer,

and don’t interrupt,

no matter what thoughts pop into your mind.

Initially, you need to be extremely serious

with yourself to be able to follow these steps.

People interrupt

because they’re scared,

or because they think they have something really important to add.

But don’t interrupt for any reason.

Showing absolute attention is the highest form of praise.

When you swallow every word the other person is saying,

lean forward

and look at the other person’s face intently,

nod and smile,

you really have an emotional impact on that person.

Les Giblin, a communication expert,

says this form of listening is like a “transparent magic”.

It has an almost magical effect on other people’s thoughts

and feelings, especially their thoughts and feelings about you.

In sales transactions, many people are good at talking,

but very few are good listeners.

Listening is a powerful tool.

When you listen attentively to another person,

you show your appreciation for that person.

You make the other person feel valued and important.

That person’s self-esteem also increases as a result.

Even the heart rate,

blood pressure increased and the face was pinker.

The more attentively you listen to others,

the more they like and appreciate themselves,

and therefore,

the more they like and respect you,

and therefore,

the more they appreciate your products/services.

**************

STEP 3: PAUSE BEFORE RESPONDING

Instead of jumping into the conversation with your own opinions,

when the speaker pauses,

pause for a few seconds and wait.

The act of stopping represents excellence.

It is a very elegant form of listening.

This action has been practiced

by very delicate people and it is a powerful action.

When you stop,

you gain three advantages in the conversation:

You avoid the risk of interrupting the other person

if they are simply rearranging their thoughts before continuing.

You silently tell the other person

that you are carefully considering what they say

and this means that

what they say is extremely valuable and important,

and therefore extremely valuable in themselves,

and important.

You allow the words of the other person

to penetrate deeper into your mind.

You actually hear and understand more clearly.

Not only do you hear what people say,

you also hear what they don’t say,

and often what they don’t say is the real message.

In other words,

if you start talking right after the other person stops talking,

you’re sending a message

that you don’t really care what the other person has just said.

Much of the action in a conversation is not listening but merely waiting.

**************

STEP 4: ASK A QUESTION TO CLEAR THE PROBLEM

Here lies the true art of conversation,

and herein lies the key to successful sales and persuasion.

Once you realize that the other person has said all of his

or her thoughts and there is a pause in the conversation,

you should assume

that you have not fully understood

what the prospect really is wanting to say.

So continue the conversation by asking,

“What do you mean?”

This is one of the most powerful questions

you’ll learn in sales training courses,

in any language.

Whenever you ask your potential customers this question,

you are giving them an opportunity

to expand on their previous answers and comments.

They will give you more information

that can help you understand their situation better

and make a better offer.

***************

Even if they say mean things

sounds negative,

such as:

“I really don’t feel confident in your product or company,”

you can still continue by saying,

“What do you really mean?”

Then wait and listen attentively

to their answer.

And here’s the key:

The questioners are the ones in control.

The person who is answering the questions is the person

who is being controlled

by the person asking the question.

In the book Ron Arden and I co-authored,

The Power of Charm,

we explain 35 different things people can do

to be a truly charming person in any situation.

Possibly the most important cue is that during a conversation,

forget about yourself completely,

and instead ask questions

and follow up on others’ questions,

so that they continue talking about themselves

in the future of most of the time.

The more you ask

and listen attentively to the answers,

the more people will trust you.

In terms of social factors,

the more you ask questions

and the more attentively you listen to others,

the more they trust you

and find you more attractive.

*************

STEP 5: FEEDBACK

Paraphrase what the customer said in your own words.

Your ability to respond to exactly

what the customer has told you in your own words

is a “hard test” of your ability to listen.

It proves that you sincerely listen

and pay close attention to

what the customer has to share with you.

Only after you have accurately reproduced the customer’s problems,

concerns,

and goals will they confirm

and agree that you have understood the situation correctly,

and that you can begin recommending your product/service as a solution.

**************

In my business career,

I often spend time talking to potential customers on the phone

or in other forms of communication

to fully understand their problems

and needs and then write

and send a proposal to them.

The proposal usually consists of three basic paragraphs.

You can use the same method

if you also write proposals

to sell your products/services.

In the first paragraph,

I thank the prospect for taking the time

to talk with me

and share his thoughts and concerns

on the issue we discussed.

I begin the second paragraph by saying,

“Based on what we have talked about,

it is my understanding…”

Then I began to explain clearly

and in detail what it was.

I understand the client’s situation,

problem,

goals,

needs,

and concerns.

This extension usually makes up about 50%

of the body of the proposal.

Third, in my concluding paragraph,

I say, “I believe I can do a great job helping

you solve your problems

and achieve your goals

in a strategic planning program

with a two-day strategy

that I can organize and guide you.

I look forward to working

with you in the near future.”

I could add a little more detail about

what my services offer,

but usually this is very brief and light.

Every time I use this three-part recommendation process,

I usually immediately get confirmation on the client side

and move forward with my mission.

As soon as I made it clear

that I “understand the client’s situation,”

the transaction was quick and easy.

In short, to build truly quality relationships,

you should follow a simple process, over and over again:

Ask interesting and interesting questions.

Smart questions require careful

thought and preparation.

Listen attentively when others speak;

Do not interrupt the other person for any reason.

Pause before responding.

Get comfortable with moments of silence in a conversation.

Ask questions to clarify the issue.

Never assume that you have clearly understood

what the customer really wants

to say just by what he

or she says.

Please continue to ask questions

to clarify the issue.

Reply. Paraphrase what the customer said,

in your own words,

to demonstrate to the customer

that you were really listening.

***************

Preserve the relationship after completing the transaction

Customer psychology has quite interesting twists.

The real transaction begins

when the customer says “yes”.

That’s why professionals never think

in terms of “closed the deal”.

Instead, they think they have “started a relationship”.

When customers are still interested,

the purchase decision is actually

just the beginning of the sales process,

not the end.

And very often,

immediately

after making a purchase decision

(especially with expensive items),

customers often fall into a state of confusion,

anxiety or regret.

Immediately after making a purchase,

signing the contract

and transferring the money to you,

customers begin to wonder if they just made the right decision.

They start thinking about the money

they just paid,

the difficulties

when implementing your solution

or learning how to use the new product/service you offer,

and all the mistakes

they may have made in making this decision.

Worst of all, the customer may lose all confidence

and think about canceling the transaction.

That’s why there’s always a 72-hour waiting period

after people buy a product,

when they have the right to change their mind.

When your customers make a purchase,

they will often start to worry

and think a terrible scenario

of having just made a mistake.

At this point, they will look to the salesman,

like a drowning man struggling to find a stake.

Your client will call you,

sometime later that week,

and say,

“I really need to talk to you about something.”

This is completely normal and natural.

What customers need right now is active support.

The quicker you respond to your client’s feeling

that you’ve made a mistake,

the more likely the client will trust you,

and the greater the chance

that the transaction will actually be completed.

Another aspect of buyer psychology is that

when a customer makes a decision

to buy a product/service from you

and has signed a contract

or given you a check,

they may feel like they just gave you a privilege.

The column “Debt” in your relationship

with the customer has just added an amount for you

because the customer thinks you have added a new debt

to him when he buys your product/service.

This feeling may not be expressed,

but if you don’t immediately do something

to reciprocate the customer’s feelings

before making a purchase,

they may feel a bit unhappy even pissed off.

In this case, do something immediately

to reassure the client

that he has just made the right decision.

At the very least,

send an email that same day.

Send a thank you letter,

a handwritten card,

showing your gratitude to the client

that they decided to work with you.

Even better, send gifts to customers in some form.

At our company, we send a gift of delicious food

to our customers right after working with them.

No matter what you send, take a moment

to make sure that all the ingredients in the package

are really good quality.

It is strange how many gift packages,

although beautifully wrapped,

contain foods that even the most ordinary people cannot swallow.

Recently, a local gift basket maker approached us.

We agreed to give them a chance.

Immediately after completing a transaction

with an important customer,

we send the customer a huge gift basket

from this new supplier.

To our shocking surprise,

the gift basket was returned

with a small note that read:

“The things in this gift basket are of such poor quality

that we cannot accept them.”

When we opened the shopping cart and looked in it,

we found that what the customer commented

on was absolutely true.

The gift basket was filled

with old packages of hot dogs,

old butter boxes,

old biscuits and handfuls of cheap candy,

but they were beautifully packaged

and looked very expensive.

We never used that gift basket supplier again.

Finally, once you’ve made an important deal,

schedule regular calls

or meetings with customers.

If it’s a small client,

you can send out an email

or the company’s monthly newsletter once a month.

For mid-range customers,

you can send out a handwritten thank you letter

or monthly newsletter

and call them directly every six months.

If it’s a larger customer,

you may want

to call them once a month or every two months.

The best solution is to tell the customer

that you want to stay in regular contact with them.

You might ask:

“How often do you want me to call you directly?

How do you feel comfortable?”

The client will often tell you how often you need

to call him to maintain the relationship

and keep things in balance.

You can also choose

between email, phone and in person.

Your problem is to consider

which form of communication would be appreciated.

**************

Become a relationship expert

Everything related to sales these days is relationships.

The best salespeople are relationship experts.

They know that the quality of the relationship

will be determined by the time

and effort they invest in that relationship.

You, too, must become a relationship expert.

Always look for ways to reassure your client

that the relationship is really important to you.

The more you focus on your sales relationship,

the more deals you can make and the

he soon had success.

There are many industries where your ability

to create

and maintain genuine relationships determines your income:

insurance,

wealth management,

accounting and real estate are just a few of them.

All transactions actually consist of three smaller transactions.

The first trade you make,

and also the most important one,

is the one in which you sell yourself.

No ability is more important in any job.

In fact, successful salespeople get to the top

because they can master the art of selling themselves.

The second transaction that you make

is the transaction to get the customer’s time with you.

Before you ask potential customers to pay,

you must ask them to pay attention.

The key idea here is that,

on first contact,

it’s much easier to trade for customer time

than it is to trade for money.

In fact, one of the biggest mistakes

sales professionals often make is starting

to talk about their product/service

before they even get a potential client appointment.

Now commit to taking the time

and paying attention

to what the salesperson has to say.

****************

Finally, the third transaction is actually the sale of the product.

Tip: You won’t be able to create a genuine fake relationship,

so don’t try.

Find something you really like about the prospect

you’re reaching out to,

even if it’s a hobby like running or golfing.

Find an area where you have something in common

with your clients

and focus on what makes you look pretty similar.

If you can’t find something you

both love and agree on,

it will be difficult for you

to build the trust needed to complete a transaction.

Be prepared to leave and find someone else.

Few things could be worse than trying

to build a sales career

where you’ll have to sell

to people you don’t like

and who don’t feel like they have any.

What do you have in common?

****************

ACTION EXERCISES

Here are a few exercises, including questions,

so you can apply these ideas to sales:

List three ways to strengthen the “friendship factor”

in a sales relationship.

Identify the three most important parts of your company’s reputation

in the market in which you operate.

List three reasons why customers are hesitant

to enter into a sales relationship

with a new salesperson.

Why is the customer relationship more important

in a competitive market than the product/service?

What are the three most common reasons

why you failed to execute a trade?

What are the three most important words

that customers use to describe the best salespeople?

What are the three most important benefits

that a customer enjoys in a close,

engaged relationship with a salesperson?

Finally, if there was one action you would take immediately after

what you learned in this chapter,

what would it be?

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on telegram

Related Articles

Angel Cherry

Creative Blogger

cherry angel
Translate »