As a sales professional, it can feel like many things are outside your control. You have to work within your customer’s time frame, budget, and expectations. Your company may have restrictions on production, staffing, or marketing budgets. You may not have input on pricing or product development.
At Conversion-omics we start the coaching process by advising our clients to focus their energy and effort on what they CAN control in the sales process – themselves – and how they approach the interaction. As Sherene Mchenry says, “Keep the focus on the things you can actually control. Choosing to center on anything else will either stop you in your tracks or significantly slow you down.”
When it comes to preparing for positive and productive customer interactions, there are several things you can do RIGHT NOW to set the stage for a successful first contact:
Dress for success.
Customers will make assumptions about you in the first minute. Choose a look that says “I am a successful professional.” Be the best dressed person in the room. Show that you take your role seriously and so should they. Your visual brand. matters.
Welcome customers into the selling environment as if they are a guest.
This applies to all environments: store front, show room, office space, conference room, model home, etc. Be gracious and hospitable.
Assume ALL contacts are potential customers.
If they are not ready to make a purchase, they may know someone who is. Be sure to ask.
Make the interaction fun.
Notice I didn’t say funny. You don’t need to be a stand-up comedian. Be positive and show how much you enjoy what you do. No one likes to work with a person who hates her job or is having a bad day.
Ask customers for feedback and thank them for it. No matter what!
Even if feedback is negative, it is still valuable. You can say something like, “Thank you for that feedback. The good news is when we create your new ______ we will take that into consideration.” The positive response will be appreciated.
Thank contacts sincerely for coming to your selling space.
Be sincere. Don’t shout at them as they are walking out the door.
Set the next appointment/Get contact info for follow up.
In the event you were not able to finalize a purchase in the initial contact, there is almost ALWAYS a reason to follow up with someone. Perhaps they were interested in a specific item or product. Maybe they have a detailed question needing additional research. Perhaps their purchase is out a few months, so you want to send them updates as they arise. Find a reason!
Although products may seem similar, features may look alike, and prices may be comparable, all things are never equal. Either positively or negatively, the sales person makes the difference in the mind of any potential customer and this difference starts at the first interaction.