It is often said that “people buy from people”.
As a business owner I would hope the quality and capability of the company is a big factor in any buying decision, I am also cognizant of the fact that it is my sales team that delivers the selling messages to clients. If a client is not receptive to one of my reps then my chances of success are greatly reduced!
“Earn trust, earn trust, earn trust. Then you can worry about the rest.”
So … what can salespeople do to differentiate themselves with customers, and build effective relationships?
1. Listen… probably one of the toughest things for most salespeople, because they want to talk! If you don’t listen (REALLY listen) then how are you going to know what the client needs?
2. Build credibility. This is not as difficult as it sounds … make a promise and keep it! Then make another promise and always keep your promises. I will be there at 10am. I will only take 20 minutes. I won’t waste your time. I will find out the answer to that. I will get you … etc.
3. Don’t ONLY be there for the business. Yes your job is to sell your company’s product or service, but if all you ever do is SELL then you won’t build much of a relationship.
4. Find ways to bring value over and above your company’s product or service. Market information, competitive data, free consulting, small favors, interesting and relevant articles etc.
5. Be sensitive. There are times to back off, there are times to push. Listen and read the signs!
6. Ask your clients what they want from you, what they like from their best suppliers and what they don’t like. (and LISTEN).
7. Always be professional.
8. Be knowledgeable about what you are selling … do your homework.
9. Work hard. The best sales people have a strong work ethic, and out work their competition.
10. Maintain high ethical standards.