The sales process is built on people, one of the key factors in any sales process is the sales relationship between the salesman and the prospect or client. There are many ways to build this relationship and ensure that the client is happy. I will outline some ideas that I have used in my 15 years selling advertising space, these will be applicable to most sales processes that rely on repeat or continued business.
People buy people
This is an old sales maxim but is one of the main deciding factors in who wins business. The Key here when you’re starting off is to be yourself, don’t try to be someone you’re not as the types of people your dealing with have years of experience in reading people and they will spot a falsehood this large straight away. Be honest and if you do not know the answer tell them, people respect this attitude. Then assure them that you will get an answer to them as soon as possible.
For the more experienced field salesman a great method is body language mirroring. In essence this is where you mirror they body language in subtle ways, for example if they are sat with their legs crossed you do the same. Don’t be obvious be subtle, this will help get the prospect more relaxed.
Take the hard work away from the client
This is a great relationship builder and closing tactic. You have just explained the massive benefits of your product, you can see the prospect likes what you’re saying however there is something not quite closed yet. Now is the time to pull the ace from the pack and explain exactly what he has to do.
In my role selling online advertising I know that some marketing managers do not have the time to dedicate several hours to getting everything together.
I decided that the easiest way to overcome this is to tell them that all they need to do is give me the purchase order, check the content once it is live (we will make any amends that are needed) and pay the invoice. That is it!
In most instances this is exactly what happened, and this has been the close I have had a lot of success with. If you can streamline the process of buying and implementation so that there is a lot less work using your system for the client than the competition’s this will make it that much easier for people to say YES!
Fulfilling your promises
Simple, do not tell the client something that you cannot fulfill. That is it
If there are genuine reasons why you cannot do something be proactive and call the client as soon as possible tell him the reasons why and then have a number of different proposals to hand to ensure that they fell well looked after. Do not bury your head in the sand and ignore the problem.
Building the sales relationship
How regularly you keep in touch with a client depends on the sales cycle to a large degree. My personal rule of thumb is that if you usually speak to them once a year for a renewal then call or email them at the 6 month stage to ensure that everything is good, then contact them 3 months prior and one month prior to the renewal date.
This will ensure that you are in there mind and if your service is good it is much more likely they will renew with you.
It is also a good idea to go to shows where a number of clients are exhibiting and arrange to meet for a coffee, make it clear you’re not their to sell to them you just want to meet up for a chat. If they have any issues they will tell you. Also if the company or even better the individual is active on social media make sure you follow them and share there content with your audience occasionally.
Be proactive with any problems
If your proactive with your clients and act off of your own back then this can be massively beneficial. A great example of this is we had a client who called for some stats on they banner advert. After looking there stats were poor as they were probably placed in the wrong section. I decided we should place their banner on the site which gets the most traffic.
The salesman then called the client and told them the stats which they were a little disappointed at. He then went on to admit that he may have placed them in the wrong category. Client was understanding but when the salesman then said we have placed your banner advert on two sections of our sister site for a month free. The client was delighted with this response and promptly booked more space.
Have you got any great examples of how to build that all important relationship with a client or prospect.
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