Sandler, Richardson, SNAP Selling… whichever sales methodology your company uses, the odds are likely that it pushes the value of establishing a relationship with each prospect.
The reason for that is a simple one. A prospective customer is going to feel far more comfortable making a big purchase decision if they believe they can trust and respect you. And since nobody truly trusts and respects someone they don’t know, it’s up to sales reps to get to know their clients.
That’s all well and good in theory, but it’s the how that’s harder to implement. So let’s talk through a few specific strategies you can employ to get beyond surface-level communication to establish real and meaningful connections.
1. Let them see your face.
A name is just a name until there’s a face attached to it. So let them see it! That obviously doesn’t mean you should replace all of your phone follow-ups with video conferences, but if you’ve scheduled a virtual product demo, then turn on the camera before you screenshare! If you don’t have a meeting scheduled, then go for a personalized video of you explaining the product or services features that are most relevant to the client’s needs. Photos or headshots in email signatures is another way to attach a face to your name. And of course the best way to accomplish face-to-face interaction is to schedule occasional onsite meetings if budget and logistics allow.
2. Ask sincere questions.
Asking questions is the only way to get to know your client. Of course, the “sincere” part is especially important. Your prospect will be able to spot a fake leading question a mile away. If you immediately follow the client’s response to a question about their interests with a “haha that’s great. So, about Product X’s features…” you might as well wave a flag that reads “I’m not really interested at all” right in front of them. Practice artful segways from casual chitchat to talking about the sales opportunity.
3. Ditch anything generic.
Nothing says, “you’re just a random sales opportunity to me” quite like a blast email or generic presentation. If you’ve done your homework and asked sincere questions, you’ll have the knowledge you need to enhance a standard presentation or email with personalized touches. This is where content personalization tools come in handy.
4. Find common ground.
Just like when dating, the easiest way to get a conversation flowing is to find a common interest. Based on your initial research on the client prior to the first conversation, try to get a feel for what common interests are most likely. Those are your entry points. Drop a few references and see if the prospect picks up on any of them.
5. Be responsive.
Building meaningful relationships isn’t all about knowing a lot about the client. It’s also about the client getting to know you. Beyond dropping random references to your interests, you should strive to build a reputation with the client, and the easiest way to make a positive impression is to be hyper-responsive. If they email with a question and you immediately reply with the answer, you’re establishing yourself as someone they can rely on. To help with responsiveness, we recommend using an email tracking tool so that you’re notified whenever buyers are showing interest.
The ability to build meaningful connections with buyers is not something you can master overnight, but it should absolutely be something that you attempt to approve on a regular basis. Try out the five strategies listed above, and you’ll be well on your way to fostering strong relationships with your clients.
Know of another great way to connect with prospects? Let us know in the comments!