The relationship between a salesperson and the client is a critical component of any sales transaction. In order to excel in their industries, salespeople must understand their clients’ needs, earn clients’ trust, and establish a groundwork for lasting relationships. As you cultivate relationships with new clients, keep these tips in mind in order to strengthen your network and boost your sales:
- Get to know your customers from the outset. Thanks to modern technology, the field of sales has become very consumer-driven. When a prospective client’s interest is piqued regarding a product or service, he or she is likely to research it on the internet. He may also research your company and compare it to competitors, forming an opinion of your business before you even make contact with him. In order to keep pace, it may help to gather information about your prospective clients before contacting them and attempt to anticipate how you will be able to fulfill their needs.
- Become a problem-solver for your clients by focusing on identifying and answering their needs. At its heart, a sales transaction is not solely about the product or service involved; the primary goal is to fill a void for the client. Often, salespeople become too focused on their rehearsed pitches or sales strategies and fail to keep an open mind about their client’s needs and wants. In order to discern a client’s needs and desires, including those that are not explicitly stated, ask the client several questions and listen sincerely to his or her responses. You may be able to assist the client in a way that you had not initially anticipated, so maintain an open mind. Most importantly, be prepared to present the client with a solution to what he is seeking.
- Build a rapport with clients by being personable and trustworthy. Clearly, clients are more likely to do business with people whom they trust and like. Often, a strong business relationship is built through the seemingly small steps that the salesperson takes in order to bond with clients. For example, get in touch with them when you say you will and follow through on commitments. Remember that every person loves the sound of his or her own name, so use your client’s first name frequently. Recall details from conversation to conversation and constantly be searching for ways in which you may assist them. Demonstrate that you truly care about your clients, even when you do not stand to benefit, by providing them with helpful information that is not relevant to your sale and connecting them with suppliers that may fulfill other needs that they have.
- When you must conduct transactions via phone, employ the same mannerisms that you use during in-person meetings. For example, standing up and gesticulating while you speak may help you to convey energy and enthusiasm. Placing a mirror on your desk so that you are able to see yourself talking may help keep you engaged in the conversation and focused on presenting a professional image. Of course, be sure to avoid distractions such as checking email while you are speaking.
- Secure a commitment from the client. Before you may consider the transaction a success, you must ensure that the client will carry through with it. This may sometimes be done by identifying the next step and presenting the client with a couple of options that will lead to it. In other situations, you may have to ask for the business outright.
In the competitive game of sales, a strong and strategic rapport with your client base may prove to be one of your most powerful tools. Basing your interactions on a sincere relationship centered on your client’s needs and desires will help you to bolster your sales and gain an advantage over competitors.
(Sources: http://thesaleshunter.com/18-phone-sales-skills-tips-you-can-use-right-now/, http://www.sellingpower.com/content/article/?a=9432/three-basic-ways-to-build-rapport-with-customers, http://smallbusiness.chron.com/advanced-sales-techniques-43164.html, http://www.forbes.com/sites/womensmedia/2011/08/22/3-powerful-skills-you-must-have-to-succeed-in-sales/, http://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/how-to-sell-8-essential-skills.html).