The primary reason for people beginning a business is to make money. Upon developing their products or services, it is believed they will sell themselves, as others will instantly see the value behind them.
Unfortunately, there is much more to building business than just having a great product or service. In reality, what sets the successful apart is their understanding of what motivates people to buy along with using the best sales strategies.
The ultimate vision should be client loyalty, demonstrated via repeat business, referrals and testimonials. In essence, clientele becomes a sales force for the business owner. To establish this, the following principles should be adhered to:
- Client perspective comes first
- Develop likability and trust from the start
- Deliver on all promises provided with excellence in customer care
Integrity needs to be present in all communication. Being truthful means never having to change one's story while serving to build trust.
Prior to any communication, research should be done regarding the potential customer, whether it be an individual or company, and the represented industry. As the conversation begins, credibility takes hold. Questions you should ask your potential client include:
- Where the business stands today
- Where the business is headed
- Why a meeting was agreed upon
The answers will surely provide insight.
Respect Builds Value
Everyone encountered should be treated with the utmost respect. Treat everyone as the CEO of their company, and therefore, as an equal. Be inclusive of everyone present in meetings. Greet each by name, and ask for everyone's input. Thank each person before departure. After the meeting, send thank-you notes to each person who was in attendance. The respect demonstrated will increase the value seen in your offerings and your business as a whole.
Many businesspeople believe that by cutting their prices, they will increase chances for obtaining the sale. But the opposite is true. There is a correlation customers make with cheap products: will the product even function, and will service be less than ideal?
Therefore, it is wise to address cost, value and budget upfront. Explain that your goods may possibly be among the most expensive, but impeccable service is included with that cost. Ask whether service or cost is of most importance. This is how value is built.
Upon hearing that service is more important, explain how the service is delivered and excels in comparison to your competitors. Now the green light is provided to sell with profit margins in tact. The seller's obligation is to only make promises that will be kept and expertly delivered.
Make it Easy to Say Yes!
Let the potential client do most of the talking, and clarify anything not understood. Address all concerns. Ask for a prioritized list of must-haves and a wishlist with timeline included. Explain the implementation process and ask for additional questions.
This sales style is a predictor of future customer service. The client recognizes professionalism and who to trust. It becomes very easy for the client to say, "Yes!"
Revisit clients after the sale to ensure satisfaction. Inquire about future goals of the company. This implants the vision that you are there to serve for the long term.
Following these guidelines will lead to a returning and referring clientele, which will help you make smooth sales!
Elinor Stutz, CEO of Smooth Sale, speaks and consults worldwide, and is the author of two bestselling books: "Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results," and "HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself on Interviews."