5 Tips for Salesmen and Buyers to Benefit from the Relationship
Salespeople: Face the facts.
Prospects no longer find your company on yellow pages, so why do you behave as if they did and want to make them aware of your existence? They have had Google since 1996, so if they wanted to buy, they would have had found you already.
Cold calling, a sales pitch and closing are old sales mantra that worked in the 1970's and maybe ten years ago - to some extent. When buyers can find all information about you beforehand, why bother them with self-focused information.
Yawn! The truism is, no one is interested in hearing about yourself, but they want to understand how they can be better off with your help, even if they don’t seem to be excited at first.
Marketing: Social media advertising doesn’t work either!
Showing off with your fancy office, cutting-edge production lines or centuries of expertise is just as self-focused and dull, as the sales reps’ presentation of the product. It’s ok from time to time, but don’t overdo it.
If you’re into content marketing and customer-focused message, you’re on the right track. But spending money on something that doesn’t attract attention is a waste of resources. Valuable and meaningful content speaks for itself and doesn’t need advertising.
Buyers: You have the upper hand. You know that. Yet you also have problems to solve and potentially a lesson to be learnt.
The temptation to reject yet another sales call and presentation meeting may be intense on a hectic day. Especially when it’s the tenth cold call you pick up that day. It’s a waste of time for you. And my advice to you is pretty straightforward: Keep ignoring them!
But beware of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Stay alert for signs of sales reps who are interested in what you do and who have done their homework. They might be able to make the difference to your business.
Modern sales guides encourage reps to ask questions, and you can do the same to figure out if the interaction is worth your effort.
If you have an urging problem to solve; ask them, how they may help to solve it. If you don’t, ask for their motives directly. Should the answer to any of the above questions be the presentation of their product or service; drop it! On the contrary, if they ask a question in response or touch a crucial part of your business, it will be the first sign of their professionalism. An indicator that they might eventually help you or at least point you towards an area of improvement in your work. They are partners, not salespeople.
1. Ask Questions
The truism of modern age sales. Repeated every day and everywhere, so many times that I feel ashamed even to list it here. But it works. And if you’ve skipped the introduction to this article, read the two preceding paragraphs at least. Right questions are a prerequisite for the next tip.
2. Understand Each Other and Act Selflessly
We all enjoy doing business with friends and people we like. Sometimes it just clicks from the first sight, but usually, it takes time to build a relationship. Knowing the needs of your counterpart and showing genuine interest in them is the foundation for establishing trust.
So spend time to learn as much as you can about your future business partners to find out how you can help them. Selflessly. Try to solve their problems, not sell your product. A product that doesn’t serve a purpose is a waste of money, so don’t wonder your customers don’t buy when you only present the product. That’s money for nothing.
If you treat the relationship as pure quid pro quo, you won’t “close” the sale. It would be best if you never attempted to close, as closing tactics are usually manipulative and tend to reveal your real, purely commercial intent. You wouldn’t manipulate your friends, would you? It’s a quick way of losing them. So why the heck would you like to do that with your customers?
Moreover, such a transactional approach leads to your service becoming a commodity where only the pricing matters. Understanding your prospect’s needs and their understanding of your attitude and how you can benefit them will make the sale come out naturally without you needing to close it.
Understanding the core problem lets you educate your prospect. And an educated prospect benefits from the education taken.
3. Educate (your customers and yourself)
Make dull products and services sexier, and then make them more relevant for your customers by showing how they benefit. The key is education.
How to educate in B2C - The carpet cleaning case: