Ways to influence the customer to want to see you again
Sales Best Practice #40: Has several ways of influencing the customer to want to see you again.
By Dave Kahle
Rarely is a business2business sales call a one-call close. Our products are too varied and sophisticated, and the customer’s buying processes are too complex for that.
If we see a prospect for the first time, and aren’t able to identify an opportunity or start a project in that first call, we don’t want that one sales call to be the only time we see that prospect. We want to see him again.
For example, let’s say you sell industrial supplies. You have 25,000 items that this prospect could potentially buy from you. Just because you don’t discover a likely project on your first visit doesn’t mean that you won’t on the next. Or, you may have had a customer call you with a specific need. You presented your solution, and the customer bought. In his eyes, he may think that the need has been filled, the project is finished, and he has no need to see you again. You, on the other hand, recognize that there are an additional 24,999 things he could buy from you.
In either case, your on-going success is dependent upon you uncovering additional opportunities within your accounts. And that means that your customer must be willing to see you again. And again. And again.
The best salespeople understand this nuance, and have developed specific strategies and tactics to influence the customer to be open to seeing them again. They take a long-term approach to sales, and understand that every call represents a new beginning in a developing relationship. Just like a romantic relationship, if the other party doesn’t want to see you again, the relationship is not going to progress.
Why would they want to see you again? They must receive something they value for the investment of time that they spend with you. In other words, they have to get something that warrants their investment of time. Probably the most powerful “benefits” have to do with helping the customer do his/her job more effectively. For example, if your customer is a purchasing agent, he/she sees time with you as likely to provide him a source he doesn’t have, or some information he can use. A small business owner, on the other hand, views his business as his job, and looks for things that can help his business.
There are personal “benefits” as well. You make him feel good because you express sincere interest in him and listen intently. Or he enjoys talking with you because you have things in common.
Regardless, the best salespeople understand this sophisticated issue, and develop ways and means to continually ensure that their customers want to see them again. They think hard about it, collect useful information for their customers, and plan specifically to influence people to want to see them again.
That’s why it is a practice of the best.
Image Credit: Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net