People buy from those that they like and trust. What makes a great communicator is their ability to bond with other people, build a strong rapport and create a level of trust in the relationship.
Most often, you only have a short amount of time to build rapport and you have only a few seconds to make a good first impression. Once made, it’s almost impossible to change it.
So it’s worth giving each new encounter your best shot. Much of what you need to do to make a good impression is common sense, but with a little extra thought and preparation, you can hone your intuitive style and make every impression not just good but great.
Be on time; it’s a simple sign of respect showing that you know this person’s time is valuable. Be clean, smell clean; it’s hard to build rapport with someone who does not want to be around you. While working in trade-based businesses can often be dirty work, be prepared with a spare shirt and some hand wipes if you are meeting with a potential client after working on site. Don’t go crazy with the deodorant/aftershave- by all means use it, but go easy. Show that the person in front of you is your priority- smile, introduce yourself and shake their hand with confidence.
Conversations are based on verbal give and take. It may help you to prepare questions you have for the person you are meeting with beforehand. Use the person’s name while chatting- to them; it’s the best sound in the world. Practice having follow up topics to discuss beyond the weather and how their day has been or pick up on something interesting that they have said and ask an open question around this so that the conversation can flow.
If you don’t listen as much as you speak, you’ll never reach a mutually satisfactory conclusion. It’s tempting, of course, to want to dominate the conversation. After all, you have an objective and all the information that you think the customer requires to make a choice. You’ll find, however, that listening to the customer’s needs — whether or not they are what you expected — will make or break your sales technique.
The fastest way to turn a person off, to hurt their feelings and make them feel slighted is to simply ignore what they are saying or interrupt them in the middle of a thought. Ignoring or interrupting is the equivalent of an emotional slap in the face. Men especially have to be careful about their natural desire to make a remark or an observation in the middle of a conversation. This can often cause the sales conversation to come to a grinding halt. Also, put your mobile on silent- this interruption is just as unwelcome.
Every person working in your business is in marketing and sales regardless of their role. The impression that customers get, not just from you, but your whole team will influence their decision to work with or purchase from you. You may offer a great price or additional services, but if that comes with a bad or disinterested attitude from your offsider for example, your customers are going to go elsewhere. Ensure that each person that your current and potential customers are coming into contact with are presented as well as you are and share your positive attitude (even if they are simply in the same room).
Finally, it’s not about the sale. Treat all potential customers the same, whether you believe they will make a purchase or not- word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool, so make the best impression on all you come into contact with.
For more information on implementing a sales process and establishing a sales funnel, contact PROTRADE United today.
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