The thrill of the chase. The first-date jitters. The excitement of starting something new.
Romance is quite thrilling, and sales can be too.
In the same way that love makes the world go ’round, sales make the world go ’round in business. Applying some basic dating skills to your sales approach can build trust with your clients, help them fall in love with your products or services, and maintain a healthy and happy relationship that lasts beyond checkout.
Here are ten ways to woo your clients and win them over for the long haul.
#1 Make the First Move
Let’s be honest; making the first move always feels awkward and downright nerve-wracking. Whether walking up to someone in a bar or dialing a number to cold-call, you’ve got to accept the nerves and do it anyway. After all, you can’t close a deal (or land the first date) if you don’t have any prospects.
As you practice your opening lines, you will learn what works and what doesn’t in your selling style. Keep testing your first move, and the first move will naturally become a little less scary.
#2 Give Them a Ring
Don’t be afraid to give your prospect or date a ring. On the telephone, not their finger; don’t want to move too fast and scare them off.
In today’s age of email, social media, and all the other amazing digital tools at our disposal, a phone call can help you stand out from the crowd more than you may realize.
Conversations with a real person allow you to have an authentic, human-to-human experience. A relationship can be built on trust more efficiently when the person on the receiving end knows what they’re hearing isn’t entirely scripted, and vice versa. You can also tailor your conversation based on the tone and inflection in someone’s voice.
And when you make these calls, let the person be your priority. No multitasking–we promise your emails can wait five or ten minutes. Think about how rude it is to be on your phone while on a date; not great, right?
Prove your potential client has your full attention, and they’ll be sure to notice.
#3 Avoid Being Too Pushy
You don’t want to rush or get to the point too quickly while on a date or giving a sales pitch. You must nurture the initial connection, learn about one another, and foster trust. Asking, “can I take you home with me” straight off the bat is just as cringey as asking, “do we have a deal” too soon.
Both parties know why they’re talking and what they hope the end goal to be, but you don’t have to outright name it. Or, at least not right off the bat. Doing so could backfire and make you come off too forward or pushy. And no one wants that.
#4 Be Memorable (Stand Out From The Crowd)
Making a great first impression can be just as important in sales as in dating. Psychologists say you only have about six seconds before your customer decides to do business with you.
There are plenty of fish in the sea, so how do you make that good first impression? You can stand out from the crowd by communicating uniquely, proving how your services can help, demonstrating your authenticity, or offering an exciting location where you choose to meet – a little creativity can go a long way.
But at the most basic level, putting your client first and listening to their needs can be a refreshing, memorable approach. Set yourself apart by showing you understand their pain points and are well-equipped to address them.
#5 Communicate Effectively
Many people agree communication is vital for any relationship–romance or not. Like dating, being upfront and straightforward about what you need, want, and expect out of the relationship is essential for success. You don’t want to invest time and energy into a person or client only to get down on one knee and hear, “Actually, this isn’t going to work out.”
Communication doesn’t only mean the verbal back and forth, but the nonverbal cues, such as tone of voice and body language. Pay attention to how a prospect interacts with you. If their words say one thing, but their actions say another, it may be time to discuss what’s going on.
#6 Listen Up & Ask Open-Ended Questions
Communication is also about listening. So much so that we felt it needed to stand alone outside our previous points on communicating effectively.
You’ve got to show genuine interest in the other person. The best way to do this? Listen and ask questions that help you listen and learn even more. No one enjoys a date where the other person blabbers on about how amazing they are. The same goes for sales.
Guide the conversation through open-ended questions to learn all you can about your prospect. In doing so, you support the relationship and genuinely understand how you can help support their needs when it’s time to close the deal.
#7 Find Something In Common
Have you ever tried to date someone who didn’t share common interests with you? Yikes, right?
To make a connection, build trust, and stand out from the crowd, find some common ground between you and a potential client. A genuine sharing of interests builds trust and lays a solid groundwork for talking points as you progress in the relationship.
#8 Tell the Truth
Just like in dating, honesty is critical in sales. The truth is a powerful tool, especially when it’s time for a tough conversation. It’s best always to be honest and direct because you cannot build a trusting relationship on a bunch of lies.
Don’t lie about what you or your product can do for a client, and don’t commit to what you can’t deliver. You must be truthful about what you’re offering and ensure it’s a good fit for the client. And if it’s not, it’s better to walk away early than waste their time (and yours).
#9 Keep Your Promises
Trust is critical in building relationships (are you noticing a theme here?). To make a sale, you must first gain the trust of your potential client. And to gain confidence, you have to be someone who keeps their promises and is true to their word.
If you say you’ll call at a particular time, do it. If you say you’re going to follow up, do it. Keeping your promises shows that you’re reliable and trustworthy—two essential (and desirable) qualities in any person.
#10 Know When It’s Not Working & Move On
Sadly, not all relationships last; some aren’t “meant to be” from the start. Not every date will go well, and not all prospects will be a good fit, and that’s perfectly all right. Take note of the signs early on and know when to walk away. By starting the dreaded “this isn’t working out” conversation earlier, you’re saving everyone time and energy.
Remember, just because someone may not be a perfect fit today doesn’t mean they won’t be a fit in the future. How you handle the situation (or breakup) now will foster respect and may lead to a great referral or partnership down the road.
Get Out There & Woo Your Clients
You can’t just sit around and wait for your clients to come to you – you need to make the first move. And once you’ve made contact and charmed them, it’s essential to maintain that good first impression. Stand out from the competition, find common ground, communicate your intentions, and always keep your promises.
And if you’re still having those first “date” jitters, we’re here to help. Reach out to us today to learn how we can partner in taking your marketing strategy to the next level.
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