Four More (Softer) Sales Pointers...
Last week, I shared some tactical tips on how to be an effective salesperson. I thought that this week I would offer some more strategic advice in terms of the salesperson’s mindset.
I often refer to myself as a “people collector.” I love to meet new people and get to know them - to hear about their families, their work, their interests and their lives overall. And once I have "collected" someone (as many of you well know!), I don’t generally let them go for a very long time.
When I first started at PPW, some of my colleagues laughed at me when I told them that my potential customers were my “friends.” A few years later, they admitted to me that they were shocked to find that I wasn’t exaggerating. And now that I have launched Jenerosity Marketing, many of those “friends” are the people with whom I am doing business. Not because they like me, but because they know how effective I was in selling to them when I was their vendor and they want that for their brands.
So, this week, I thought that I would share some tips on how to be an effective “people collector:”
1. Listen – When you are on a sales call, it isn’t all about you. It is actually far more important for you to understand what your prospective customer’s goals and objectives are before you speak a word. I know that you are eager to talk about how great your property is or which retailers are already on board. But if you don’t identify upfront that their product is for girls, then your pitch for the next hot boys’ property will be wasting their time!
2. Speak your audience’s language – Watch your audience as you are explaining your product or service. Are they grasping what you are pitching? Or are they confused? The last thing you want to do is to confuse a prospective customer or partner when you are trying to get them to buy into your brand, product or service. Therefore, you need to make sure you are explaining it to them in a way that they understand.
3. Build a relationship – Sales isn’t about pushing your product or service down someone’s throat. It is about finding the right partners or customers and developing a program together. It isn’t about selling them something and walking away. It’s about creating a partnership that can last a long time in support of your mutual success. Take your time. If they are the right partner or customer, they will be more than happy to get to know you and your product to ensure that it is the right fit.
4. Show you care – Remember that the object of your outreach is a person. If something is going on in their life, ask about it. Offer potential solutions if you know of any. Or just show that you care about them as a person and not just as a potential customer or partner. You’d be amazed at how much it means to people when you remember the name of their spouse or children!
A colleague whom I have known for well over a decade once told me that I always make her feel really special when I see her. And isn’t that the true goal in life?