The Steps Andie Anderson (played by Kate Hudson) in How to Lose A Guy In 10 Days had to go through to prove her point was crazy and messed up. In the end, she failed. But her failure meant she got to keep the guy.
In business, the process can also involve crazy, and messed-up steps, from cold calling, leads to building relationships to finally closing a sale. Salespeople are mostly the ones who face many of the associated rejections and failures. Whether you are a CEO or a salesperson, you can work on keeping your clients by being thoughtful about these 5 things.
ID the call
It is human nature to hesitate to answer an anonymous phone call. With apps that allow reverse phone searches, it is easier for salespeople to block robocalls these days. On the flip side, however, you might miss an essential lead if you ignore all the unknown digits you encounter. Fortunately, there’s a way to know if it’s safe for you to take the call. Reverse phone lookup apps like that of USPhoneBook provide you with details that include the address, email address, relatives, and associates of the caller. A feature that tags a call as Safe or Spam/Fraud is also included. As a result, you avoid losing potential clients to your paranoia of robocalls and scammers.
Adjust to the culture
Whether you represent a company or act as a consultant, you are expected to practice empathy and flexibility as a salesperson. Dig a little deeper into how an organization behaves. You can start with something as small as the dress code. If the executives down to the employees wear suit and tie, so should you when you conduct an ocular. Then move on to more significant matters such as customizing your pitch or strategy. There are reps or consultants who provide a generic plan to potential clients. But understanding that each prospect is unique will guide you in customizing your offer. And often, you get to seal the deal by speaking a company’s language and adopting its mindset.
Pay for the coffee
Footing the bill during a lunch meeting is not set in stone. However, it’s a different story when coffee is involved. If the client insists on paying for his or her cup, say you’ll let him or her do it next time. But you should have an allowance for treating prospects with such niceties. It is not just about getting on their right side. It’s one of those social calls you have to make as a salesperson. By the sheer number of coffee shops in the corner where you live or work, you can tell the importance of drinking coffee at work and in keeping society connected. Plus, it is not as expensive as one meal in a fine-dining restaurant.
Offer a discount
Is a client demanding a better deal when you are about to reach a close? It happens. And sometimes, you just want to resort to having your prospect talk to your superior. The frustration can get to you, especially if you are new in the field. All your hours of hard work can topple any minute now. As the Harvard Business Review (HBR) puts it, “you’re left with a lousy choice: do the business unprofitably or don’t do the business at all.” But if it is a client you cannot afford to lose, you should find ways to sweeten the deal. One approach is to offer a discount. Determine an amount that will let both parties win.
Stop talking, just listen.
It is tempting to argue with a client who starts to raise points as to why his or her demands should be met prior to a deal. However, in most cases, listening is your best way toward a more satisfying conclusion (at least of the conversation).
Silence is a practical, persuasive tool. Again, the HBR advises that you keep the client talking. Why? This is how you gather new information that can eventually enlighten you about the situation. Further, it prevents you from getting into a heated argument. “When under attack, listen.” Being in defensive mode is human nature, not to mention satisfying, but it can ruin your chances of getting the client to choose you over your competitor.
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