HARDISON’S TIPS – JULY 31st
Sure, they loved you when you made your sales presentation, but they weren’t ready to buy yet. Several months from now, when they’re finally ready to buy, are they going to call you or the last person who just happened to walk in the door?
When the close is delayed, you need these ideas to ensure everyone on the buying team remembers you.
Who are you?” If that’s what your prospect says the next time you contact him, you’re in trouble. If you are not unique as a salesperson, your company isn’t going to stand out in the prospect’s mind.
I certainly don’t propose that you stand out by having green hair and a pierced tongue. To get more sales, you have to be someone prospects will remember and enjoy being with. Often, when a prospect is ready to buy, there are three or four competitors in the running. So which does she pick? The one with the salesperson she remembers and likes. Top salespeople are often outrageous in a positive way. Here are some ways you can make sure you stand out:
Remember special events
I sent a birthday card to a video storeowner who had never bought from me. It turned out that I was the only one in the world who remembered his birthday. He signed a long-term contract with me that very day. Before that, I had called on him several times, and he always told me that he wasn’t in the market for what I was selling.
Send handwritten thank you notes. This is especially important in today’s computerized world. You can also fax or send a cartoon or article that applies to that prospect.
I know a salesperson who makes monthly calls on all the people he hasn’t been able to get in to see. He takes his pet pig and asks the receptionist to tell the prospect, “Bill and his pet pig are here to see you.” He gets in almost every time and is never forgotten. People are bored and love to have fun interjected into their day. I once got an appointment with a bank president after several months of trying by sending a singing telegram with a humorous “Why won’t you see me?” song.
Learn their interests
During a sales call, a prospect mentioned that he liked playing board games. On the next call, the salesperson brought him an inexpensive game. Find their interests (golf, books, etc.), and give an inexpensive, appropriate gift.
You don’t even have to buy anything. One prospect always told jokes to salespeople who called on him. The salesperson asked around for some good jokes before an appointment with him. The prospect loved adding some new jokes to his repertoire. Consequently, he continued to buy, and they had a lot of fun trading jokes.
Build emotional rapport
A salesperson I know had a client that also owned a farm. They always talked about the farm before anything else. When he became manager, a new salesperson took the account. Within two months, the client had canceled. When the manager called his ex-client, he found out that the new salesperson wasn’t talking about the client’s farm or building any emotional rapport. The client felt that the company didn’t care anymore; they just wanted his order. When the new salesperson went back and established rapport by chatting about the farm, the client was back with the company.
When I was selling radio station advertising with the lowest numbers in town, the agencies wouldn’t buy us at first. I found out that one agency buyer had a daughter the same age as mine. I was taking my daughter to a concert and asked if her daughter would like to come along. She was delighted that I had asked. We went and had a wonderful time.
The buyer never forgot that I did something special for her. She included us in almost every buy after that. Of course, she wouldn’t have if our station hadn’t fit her needs. But in a crowded market, many stations fit her needs. Now, mine stood out in her mind.
Don’t be afraid to take risks
You can’t lose a sale you don’t have. For example, a salesperson will try to be a bit different by wearing a louder tie than usual. When a prospect doesn’t buy, the salesperson leaves and says, “Oh, that lost me the sale.” He overlooks the fact that he has been calling on that same prospect for five months and never gotten a sale. Furthermore, he could call on him another ten months and still never get the sale. The tie didn’t lose the sale. The salesperson was never even close to getting that sale.
Will you sell more by being different? Absolutely. Will it work 100% of the time? No. But if it doubled or tripled your closing ratio, would it be worth it? Would you make more money? Of course you would.
You can’t lose a sale you don’t have, so try being more dramatic. Be bolder. State your mind. Be more spontaneous. You must strive for an image that will be remembered.