Staying in Touch with Your Buyer: 5 Practical Ways to Build Trust and Strengthen Relationships
There’s a common issue facing sales reps. According to SalesStaff, it takes an average of 5 to 12 contacts to make a sale, but sales reps still struggle to make those contacts on a regular basis.
Reps know that they need to contact their prospects more often, but finding the time to do it can be a challenge. According to Sirius Decisions, the typical sales rep only spends 18% of time interacting with prospects and customers. That’s only about 7 hours out of a regular work week for sales reps to communicate with all of their prospects.
On top of finding the time to initiate contact, the reps then need to know what to say or send to the potential buyers. Reps may spend 18% of their time interacting with buyers, but according to Aberdeen, they’re also spending up to 27% of their time just searching for information they can use to educate and enrich the sales pipeline. Yes, they are spending more time searching for things to say to customers than they are actually saying them.
The first obvious step is to implement a centralized library so that reps can find sales materials quickly and easily, but let’s go beyond technology and talk about some creative ideas to keep contact fresh and engaging:
Use 3rd Party Content to Address Your Buyer’s Pain Points
Identify and collect high-quality articles from credible 3rd party industry sources that address the prospect’s respective needs and interests. This type of contact has another benefit beyond simply initiating a conversation with your buyer—it reinforces the idea that you’re not just trying to tell one side of the story with biased, company-centric content. Instead, you become a trustworthy and credible source of information.
Leverage Social Media Channels
Nobody said you have to limit your interactions to phone or email. Social media channels such as LinkedIn or Twitter are a great way to interact with your buyers. Don’t barrage them with private messages about your product. Instead, consider creating a group and inviting customers and prospects to join. Make your buyer want to interact in the group by posting relevant articles or starting interesting discussion threads.
Use your judgment about reaching out via Facebook or Google+, but if you’re confident in the strength of the relationship thus far, these social media platforms are an excellent source of information to create more touch points. If your buyer posts on Facebook about how much they like fishing, that’s an opening for you to start a conversation.
Provide Lifestyle Content
Lifestyle articles are great for adding a personal touch. If a buyer’s hobby is golf, send an article on the 10 best courses in America. It shows you view them as more than just a potential dollar sign. Stay cognizant of the prospect’s reaction, however. If they respond back thanking you for sharing the golf article, you’re on the right track, but not all prospects want distractions from their buying decision.
Use Text Messaging
For buyers you know are comfortable receiving text messages, a relevant text will likely be better received than a phone call. It’s far more likely to be read than an email, but still gives your prospect time to think and plan a response, unlike phone calls. Use text messages selectively, infrequently and only for relevant topics and events where time is of the essence. Just remember to get their permission first.
Treat Your Prospects as Advisors
Last but not least, use an element of reverse psychology. Don’t hesitate to ask your buyers for advice in their respective area of expertise. Each and every one of us wants to feel respected and valued, buyers included. Look for these opportunities and take the time to ask for advice and opinions. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the response.
The most important thing to consider is that you have to mix it up! A sales rep that only sends golf articles to their buyers isn’t going to get very far in the sales cycle, but a rep that offers varied and interesting communication on a regular basis has great chance of closing the deal.
Once you get the sales strategies down, get the quality technology to really differentiate from your competitors. Private buyer portals, behavior tracking, automated sales rep coaching and guidance, lead prioritization… All of this and more is available through Accent Accelerate. Schedule a demo today to learn more.