Three Keys to Solving the Sales Puzzle

Becoming successful in sales can be puzzling.  Sometimes the pieces just don’t fit together well.  Why is it you can have a great product, belong to a great company, have great leads and still have trouble meeting your goals?  Perhaps the reason is not in the things you’re doing, but in how you’re doing them.  Here are three key behaviors to increase successful interaction with prospects and clients.

  1. Be friendly

Don’t take your customers for granted.

Your prospects and clients don’t get up in the morning thinking of all the ways they can please you.  It should be the other way around.  Frost & Sullivan did research on why customers quit. They found that 68% left because they sensed an attitude of indifference.  If you don’t care, they won’t either.

Make them want to see you.

When I first got into sales I felt I was so busy that I only had time to see my customers when I needed to sell them something or when there was a problem.  Then I realized that the seller-buyer relationship thrives when it’s more like a friendship.  And friendships thrive when you make an effort to get together for no reason at all other than getting together.

  1. Be Fair

Don’t game the customers.

I know salespeople who continually manipulate their prospects and clients.  They don’t make full disclosures and they instill a needless sense of urgency.  It’s a wonder they’re still in business.  Even their pets don’t trust them.

Give them a good deal.

Have you been in a competition and at the end the customer asks for a best and final offer?  What did you do?  Sure, some top prospects and clients are given discounts, but if your offer was fair you shouldn’t cave on price.  If you can easily lower your price was it fair?  It’s better in the long run to support your price by adding something extra and increasing trust rather than reducing your price later and lowering trust.

  1. Be Fun

Don’t take yourself too seriously…

My mentor Tom was in a meeting of business development professionals.  He was asked what single piece of advice he could offer that would have the most immediate impact on new orders.  Without hesitating, he responded, “Lighten up.  Don’t take yourself so seriously.”  This doesn’t mean you should try out your stand up comedy routine in front of the customer (unless, of course, it’s a contract signing celebration and alcohol is involved).  It simply means … be fun to be with.

… But take your work seriously.

Being fun to be around has to be balanced with being professional about your work.  If you’re relaxed and know what you’re talking about, prospects and clients will listen to you.  And it won’t be a puzzle why you’re crushing your numbers.

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