The piece was based on an interview Mr. James conducted with Fierce Founder Susan Scott, last October for the article Manager Your Sales Team: Critical Candor.
Use these quick and easy rules to make sure your customers keep coming back for more.
It's easier to sell to existing customers than to acquire new ones, so it's good sense to keep the customers you've already got.
Here are some simple rules to ensure that customers continue to come back for more.
DO put connection before content. Clients don’t want you to sell to them; they want you to genuinely care about them. Take the time to build a personal connection before you start talking business.
DON'T badmouth the competition. Only people who are insecure try to build themselves up at the expense of others. Show your competitors the same respect you'd want if the positions were reversed.
DO focus on individuals, not companies. You may be selling to an organization, but you’re doing it through an individual. Remember: ABC Inc. is not going to buy your offering; but Joe might.
DON'T give a sales pitch. Pitches are a great way to shut people down and pigeonhole you as a hustler. Even when speaking to a group, make the interchange a conversation, not a lecture.
DO engage with customers as equals. The client conversation should contain a feeling of mutuality rather than talking down to or being subservient to your clients.
DON'T attempt an "end run." Bypassing a client or customer contact who is ambivalent or hostile will create an enemy for life. That person will constantly work against you ... from the inside. You don't want that.
To read the full article on the Inc. Magazine website click here.
This above is loosely based on a conversation with Susan Scott, author of the best-sellers Fierce Conversations and Fierce Leadership.
Geoffrey James' "Sales Source" (formerly "Sales Machine" on CBS) is the world's most-visited sales-oriented blog.