Spending time observing salespeople is something all leaders should do occasionally. You can learn so much more by observing first-hand how your salespeople interact with clients and customers.
This can work by physically accompanying a salesperson in the field or translating to online sales by listening to sales calls or observing emails and chats.
The Value of Relationship Building
What makes an effective salesperson?
Being able to form a relationship with a client.
The world is made up of relationships, some good, some bad, some fleeting. In the sales world, you can only push products or services so far if they aren't what the customer truly needs. The best deals happen when the client trusts that their sales rep understands their pain points, recognizes how the solutions can solve the issues, and can see the return on investment.
The most successful sales professionals understand that landing clients and producing consistent sales is a long game. It's not the conversation you have today but all the ones you have in the interim that make the difference.
When you take the time to build trust, your customers will also recommend you to other businesses and will remain loyal to you when other reps approach them. Taking the time to build trust pays off in the long run.
5 Quality Sales-Related Activities Other Than Pitching
The best sellers understand that selling is more than just "pitching." There is no doubt that presenting a proposal and closing the sale are important. However, other sales-related activities need to take place to create a long-term, mutually beneficial association. Here are five:
1. Learn Your Client's Needs
Charles F. Kettering's quote, "A problem well stated is a problem half solved," speaks volumes about the importance of understanding customer needs. Simply put, the first step to stating a problem is understanding it—and the first step to understanding customer problems is conducting a needs analysis.
2. Conduct Industry Analysis
Taking the time to conduct and present research to a customer is often forgotten in today's hurry-up world of sales. A key element to consider is tying the research to the customer, not the product. Look to beneficial research sources such as:
- Industry trends
- Consumer trends
- Competitive insights (be sure not to share confidential information)
3. Follow Up
Don't let out of sight mean out of mind for you or your customer. Follow up with your clients on email. You can simply check in to see how they are doing or let them know about promotions on their most-requested products.
4. Engage on Social Media
Most business owners today understand the criticality of social media. Reaching out and connecting with your current or prospective clients on social media is also a great way to see what their customers are responding to through likes and comments. Not only can this help you generate leads, but it also helps you suggest solutions for your clients based on customer engagement.
5. Express Your Thanks for Their Business
Everyone wants to know that they are appreciated, and it is no different with your customers. Spending a few minutes to show thanks and appreciation for their business can go a long way to building lasting relationships. Some ideas to show your thanks could include:
- A hand-written thank you note
- A loyalty discount
- Lagniappe (This Cajun-French term means "a little something extra", such as a free product or service with an order. )
It is important to note that the likelihood of "closing" a deal increases when these sales-related activities occur regularly. Additionally, these activities demonstrate value even if a customer does not accept the present offer. They are all vital building blocks for lasting customer relationships that could lead to lucrative future deals.
Sales Success Is Much More Than Closing a Deal
Do you imagine that real estate investors who close multi-million dollar deals expect to go in cold, make a pitch, and close the deal on the first meeting?
It's often the culmination of months or even years of building interest and trust, involving research, understanding the benefits, and discussing terms. It's about creating a relationship.
Success is not a swift transaction but an intricate dance of research, understanding, and trust-building. As leaders, appreciating the significance of relationship building, and actively participating in the various facets of sales-related activities, we not only enhance our understanding but also contribute to the foundation of long-term, mutually beneficial associations.
Ultimately, the true measure of sales success extends beyond the closure of a deal; it lies in the enduring relationships built over time.