Non-Business Conversations

posted: Saturday, September 20, 2014

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We talk a lot about the “We want it now society” and how fast everything seems to move, but those attitudes are not always conducive for salespeople who are trying to develop relationships. One of the casualties of the faster paced society is the non-business conversation. It’s true that you can complete a sale without a meaningful non-business conversation, but it’s impossible to develop a repeat customer base without one.

Most of you know what a meaningful non-business conversation entails but just in case, it’s a discussion with a customer about almost anything, not related to what they might be buying, that is important to the customer. This is the number one reason I encourage salespeople to ask the question: What’s the special occasion? This question will help you determine the emotional reason behind the purchase and thus enabling you to have a meaningful non-business conversation.

The real point of today is not to talk about the ins and outs of how a non-business conversation works; the real point is to remind you of the benefits of taking the time to have them. The single biggest asset to a salesperson in relation to a customer is trust, and establishing that trust is often done through non-business conversations.

A customer can buy an engagement ring from a thousand different salespeople, but if they have someone they trust, then they are likely to return to that person in the future. Take the time to ask about: when he me this fiancé to be, when he’s thinking about popping the question and so on. Those types of questions will, more often than not, lead to some sort of conversation that is not about the ring.

Through the conversation, you are starting to plant the seeds of a relationship that hopefully will last a lifetime. I know of a couple who were so thrilled with the relationship/friendship that the developed through the ring buying process that they invited him to their wedding. That’s an extreme example, of course, but it illustrates the point.

It will probably be impossible to have a non-business conversation with every customer because not every customer is going to want one; they just want to get what they need and get out. However, for the customers who are willing to engage in a meaningful non-business conversation, take advantage because the long-term payoff has the potential to be huge. Maybe you will even get invited to a wedding or two!

FINAO - Brad Huisken

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