There is one immutable fact: Nothing Happens Before The Sale. Yet, many sales professionals feel inferior when it comes to dealing with their potential customer. This sense of being ‘less than adequate’ can be called ‘modesty’ or ‘humility’, but in the Sales Process, it’s called a Sales Killer.
Think about it. When you seek out expert advise, do you want the ‘expert’ advising you to act like s/he is inferior to you? Of course not. You want someone who is confident and sure of themselves. You want an ‘expert’ who can and will state their expert opinion and then stand behind it.
Yet, most sales people walk into their prospective customer’s lobby with their proverbial ‘tale between their legs’. Believe me, whether real or fabricated, your customers notice it, and it tells them NOT to trust a word that you’re about to share.
So, what is a salesperson to do?
First, dress like a professional. When I speak to my attorney, accountant or any other business professional, I want them to dress the part, which means dressing better than me. If they can’t afford to dress better than their customers, then they have a serious problem. Your appearance (clothes, jewelry, notebook, etc.) is a powerful non-verbal communication tool between you and the customer.
If you dress like the customer, (or worse than the customer) you’re communicating that they should NOT trust you as an expert. So, spend a little more on your clothes, your perfume or cologne, and other non-verbal items of communication, and tell the customer that you are an expert in your field.
Second, be a little bit arrogate (emphasis on ‘a little’). If the customer senses any desperation in your demeanor, it will always work against you. Let them know that you’re busy. Tell them that you have larger customers who are completely happy with your product or services. Don’t be shy about telling them you’re going on vacation for 2 weeks and that your assistant will be handling things until you get back in the states.
When you do these things, the customer will feel an hundred times more confident in doing business with you. However, if you practically beg for their business, and return their calls within minutes after they hang up, this sends the message that you’re not too busy, and that things must not be going well in your business.
Finally, never pay a customer to do business with you. I know of companies that spend thousands of dollars every year on golf trips, expensive meals and other ‘gifts’ for their customers. Why do they do it? Because their product or service must be inferior to the competition, and this is a way to bribe the customer NOT to leave.
If you have an inferior product or service, do something about it. However, if your product or service is superior to the competition, tell the customer. Let the customer compare ‘apples-to-apples’ and see it for themselves. And, while your competition tries to hide behind their ‘perks’, you should focus on giving the customer what they’re paying for…. A high quality, cost-efficient superior product or service.
This kind of product or service will always win in the long run, and that’ where it really counts!
Article Author: William Noel – D. Brownlee
D. Brownlee is the Territorial Area Developer of a large janitorial in Oklahoma. He manages in excess of $1.5 million dollars of accounts, all from his own personal volumne.
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