Slow Down

posted: Friday, March 18, 2016

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Modern society moves at a whirlwind pace! "Progress" creates a faster cell phone, a bigger car engine, or fancier bells and whistles. Whether we like it or not, the action is fast and those who don't keep up get left in the dust, wondering what happened.

While speed and progress are values, they do not necessarily assist in making sales. People believe that they're all about ticking items off their To-Do Lists; the reality is that many people have a strong need to connect as human beings. The challenge is making the connection without the customer feeling invaded or derailed from their Mission Du Jour. The invitation to a client for a non-business conversation subtly alters the pace of the interaction and creates the opportunity to learn something about the customer and their buying needs.

Additionally, it's possible to discover commonalities and similar interests between client and salesperson, which form the basis for continued interactions within future transactions. People generally still want to buy from someone they know. By pacing the sales presentation and opening actual conversation with the client, a business relationship is begun. As you listen carefully to the customer and make the effort to understand their needs, confidence is created and back and forth sharing and discussion can begin. Answering sales objections honestly and respectfully imparts the information to the buyer that you are a knowledgeable resource and that you actually care enough to listen and make their desires a priority. It adds up to another value: trust. It's a rarity that buyers are given the opportunity to trust a salesperson, but when trust is created, loyalty is not far behind.

Successful sales transactions are mostly about product knowledge and being able interact professionally and genuinely until the client convinces himself or herself that the product is precisely designed to meet their needs. Genuine caring and interaction go a very long way to create the atmosphere of an actual business relationship which is sustainable over time.

Without overdoing it, you can become a valued contact for the customer and build the foundation for an ongoing sales relationship. Technically and socially, the client is "In YOUR House," so the direction of the interaction is largely in your control. The rewards of customer satisfaction, repeat sales, loyalty and respectful connection are yours to be had if you can manage the social connection part of the sales transaction successfully.

Ideally, as special promotions are being rolled out, these strong relationships can form the basis for "Heads Up" phone calls, emails or advertising circulars that are mutually beneficial to customer and sales representative. Conversely, as the customer discovers an up-coming purchasing need, who do you think they will contact as their "Go To" salesperson? Those non-business conversations form the openings from which long-term relationships are built!

FINAO - Brad Huisken

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