The first step towards developing long term relationships with people who you have qualified as perfect prospects for your product or service, is to think long term. Do not try to make a sale, focusing on a single transaction. Take a long term view of the value proposition you offer and work to show the long term value you and your product and/or service bring to the table. When one of these prospects says they are satisfied, that does not mean that the satisfaction they feel is permanent. Their needs may change and once they fully understand your value proposition, they will see a good reason for switching to you.
Know your Value Proposition
The challenge that most sales people have at this point, is that they give up on their perfect prospect because they do not see how they can proceed. They do not completely understand their own value proposition and so cannot see how they can add real meaningful value to the prospect.
Action Idea: Explore your product and/or service and completely know and believe in the value it offers to your partners and prospects. Once you are clear and you believe in all the benefits you and your product or services offer. It is really simple to show your prospect how they will better satisfy a need or eliminate a challenge if they utilise you as a supplier.
Research and Qualify Prospects
Remember that I am referring to qualified prospects here. These are people within the perfect businesses, who need exactly what you have on offer. You are certain what you have to offer will serve them as well or better than their current supplier.
Action Idea: As you are absolutely clear on the value you and your product and/or service offers, you can carefully research your markets and identify your perfect target business and the individual within that business to approach with your value proposition.
Develop a Long Term, Mutually Beneficial Relationships
Approach your prospects in a non-threatening way, with a real mind-set of â€œHow Can I Help Youâ€ and try to develop rapport with them. Your objective is to build a positive relationship with them, sale or no sale. Your prospect will very quickly see through you if you are inauthentic and are only there with your own self-interest to try to make a sale at all costs. When you show a genuine interest in helping them solve any challenges or better satisfy any need they may have, they will warm to you and want to build a mutually beneficial relationship with you.
Study and Completely Understand needs
Take a long term view when building the relationship and always put the prospects needs ahead of your own need to sell to them. Your objective must always be to find innovative ways to support and help them. Take your time whilst building rapport and a long term relationship with your new prospects. Ask a lot of non-threatening questions so that you can completely understand their needs and how your value proposition can best help them. The key during this phase is to establish a needs gap and then to utilise your extensive knowledge of your own value proposition to offer a solution, which will help them to eliminate a challenge or better satisfy a need.
Remember that people buy from people. Businesses do not buy from businesses. Personal chemistry is important when building the relationship, where you are working to get the prospect to know like and trust you. The prospect will respond to your knowledge, enthusiasm, professionalism and caring, ethical approach and will want to do business with someone who displays all those attributes. You will be an asset to them and their business. Always have your prospects best interests at heart and show them that you are on their team, sale or no sale. Try to come up with new ideas for your prospects, even if they do not relate to your product or service. Show them that you really care. When you help people to get what they want, they will most certainly help you to get what you want.
Add Real Value
It is often difficult to differentiate your product or service if you are selling a commodity. This is when the differentiation must come from you as the sales professional and any other value add, such as service and performance guarantees, better delivery schedules, and superior customer service. Be innovative and find as many ways as possible to be better.
A perfect example of how you can differentiate yourself and utilise this to sell your products or services, is shown by the example I want to offer you. I conducted sales training for an office furniture company in Cape Town a few weeks ago. One of the sales professionals there was one of the most unassuming people you could ever meet.
He had spent eight years building mutually beneficial relationships with his perfect clients. He started with a new company and went to an exhibition to sell his new companies office furniture. He was alone in a 3 square metre booth with only a brochure. He sold four times more office furniture as his large competitor, who had a 66 square metre cubicle containing furniture. They had eight sales people in their stand. He made the sales based purely on who he was and the relationships he had built with his partners.
Offer a No-Risk trail Order
Many prospective clients are loyal to their current suppliers. This is however not a major challenge if you can show the value you offer. Virtually every prospect will give you the opportunity to run a trial order with them. This must be a no-risk proposition, which can easily be facilitated, by offering a satisfaction guarantee. I offer any new client who works with me a 100 % money back guarantee, if they are not satisfied with my work in any way. This make them feel very comfortable to utilise my services to train their sales staff. It is crucial that you bend over backwards to ensure that the trial order makes a very positive impression.
Persistence wins the Day
There is no better sales skill than persistence. With all things being equal, the persistent sales person, who clearly understands their value proposition and believes completely in what they have to sell will win the account every time. The secret is to stay in contact with prospects, constantly think long term, always be consistent and become a valuable consultant and ally to them. Keep soughing positive seeds and you will eventually reap great rewards.
About the Author
Hi my name is Andrew Horton; I am an inspirational Speaker, Master Teacher, Radio and TV Host, Global Traveler and Author. My area of focus is in the field of human behavior, expanded awareness and enlightenment. I travel the planet constantly researching, learning and seeking ways to unlock the mysteries of the human mind. I delve into the inner workings of the universe, always looking for ways to understand my role in making things better and contributing to the improvement of the human experience. Please visit my website to sign up for a daily inspirational message, by following this link Daily Inspirational Message. This is your daily call to action, a reminder to do things better each day. Visit my website at http://www.andrewhorton.co.za
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