In any market, growing a business involves motivation, commitment, and persistence. The foundation is education. Building your professional pedigree takes time. This investment separates the professional salesperson from the average salesperson. Awareness is an influence. By developing our ability to watch and observe people, we self-teach and recognize patterns. These include behaviors, emotions, difficulties, eagerness, morals, body language, and intelligence. As this learned skill develops you will guide and influence conversations and outcomes.
It is essential to develop a relationship that is built on a common community objective. This creates the most effective method. In addition, it does not waste your time or theirs. Respect for their time will impress upon them your professionalism. They may remember you for future opportunities.
In your first conversation, establish the client has needs and learn where they wish to take their company or project. Observe and listen, before speaking. Fully understand before presenting your talents. Be honest and transparent in your ability to meet their expectations. A professional salesperson will turn the deal down if it feels unsafe.
Be clear on your purpose and study the clients. If the client’s expectations and reasoning are too high or too low, be prepared to let them know. Do not be afraid to say ‘no’ as there are benefits attached to saying ‘no’. A professional sales person knows whether their company can confirm and fulfill the client’s goals. Attempting to go outside the company’s product or service line will generate bad feelings, waste time and resources, and establish a negative trust relationship.
Discern the client’s magnitude, amount, and timeline for delivering the right product or service, at the right time to the right people. Pose measurable questions to flesh out the details. The vital ingredient is to deliver your product or service as promised. If any element requires more explanation-ask.
Keep your eye on the goal to create a win-win situation. An effective icebreaker is the question, “What price do we need to be at, to help you make this work?” In one phrase, you validate the clients’ work and set-up an emotional collaboration to be of service. Let the balance of the conversation flow naturally.
Every system has a funnel process with layers of decision makers. Try to discuss where the next step leads, whom it goes to, and if you can be of service at any point along the way. Sincerity and openness build honor, equity, and goodwill. Goodwill is very difficult to measure; however, over your career, this practice will pay dividends.
This is the natural progression of an encounter. Connection and communication, foster like and trust. People buy from people who have taken the time to go beyond the expected. By mirroring and matching the person in tone and manner, we reinforce a rapport. It is like speaking to an old friend and sharing stories. The relationship is easy and flows because you are listening. The quote by Epictetus,
“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak” is powerful. As a professional sales person, this thought is your mantra.
Enjoy the progression, learn, and have fun.