Being in sales is by no means an easy job. With some pretty negative connotations and, an often, reluctant audience you have to be balanced and cautious when dealing with your target audience. But, often in the desire to close that deal, it is all too easy to forget about long-term relationships which can often be more powerful. So here our SalesTrainerIn five top tips on maintaining long term relationships when selling to clients.
Maintaining long-term client relationship in sales
When selling to a prospective client we often think about our own needs and how we would benefit from the product. However, it’s far more powerful to consider how you can help your customer…put yourself in their shoes. One of the most effective methods of doing this is by creating consumer avatars – `characters who you view as your ideal customer. You could have between 2 and 3 of these and consider their age, profession, disposable income – really try to go into as much detail as possible. More than that – give them faces and try to create a narrative, making them real people you can interact with. Steve the solicitor and Greg the graphic designer –allow them to guide you and have them in mind at all times.
A consumer makes a purchase for two reasons: to avoid pain or increase pleasure. Decide which one you do and why and then use that as the pivot for your sales tool. Avoid the fluffy and esoteric jargon that so often gives sales a bad name and instead be open and honest – this is how I can help you by…..Allowing this pivot to act as a centre for your sales will give you validation and guarantee you respect. Two important emotions when creating long term client relationships.
Be a partner in the sales process
Instead of thinking of yourself as a “sales person” which, sadly, is often focused on statistics and data –think of yourself as their partner in the sales process. Help guide them and become part of their team – which product or service is right for us, how we can make sure this sale is beneficial in the long-term to us. If done in an authentic way this can really help the client feel at ease with you and push them to come back to you time and time again.
Take yourself out of the equation
At certain gyms or other establishments where pain and feelings of inadequacy can occasionally be the order of the day it may well say something along the lines of, “leave your ego at the door.” This cliché whilst, perhaps a little overused, is fantastically appropriate for sales. It really is all about the customer and ensuring their happiness. So don’t be too proud to apologise or admit when you make a mistake – these things can go a long way.
Don’t be too pushy
Last but by no means least – this point really is one of the most poignant on this list. There is, sadly, the cliché of the pushy salesperson who forgets rhyme and reason in order to secure that sale. Even if you do manage to coerce some poor individual to buy from you, they absolutely aren’t coming back and definitely won’t be recommending you to their friends. If you feel it’s appropriate don’t be afraid to back down – you may lose the short-term sale, but in the long term you have gained their respect and confidence which may well be to your benefit down the line.