Don’t ever be afraid to say I didn’t get the order or that new customer because you did everything you could to try to steer them your way. Sometimes, you can’t win the prospective client or customer over to your company and away from whomever they are presently doing business with.
The problem with salespeople is that they sometimes do not understand the rules to the game. They might say, “Well I gave the customer a better price,” or “I put so much time into the proposal and demonstration, but they weren’t interested.”
The bottom line here is you have to reverse your thinking.
Stop making this about yourself and think of the customer. When you truly understand what I just said, you are starting to think like a professional salesperson. It’s not about you, it’s never about you, it’s always about the customer or client.
Think of your all-time favorite person you do business with in your personal life. It could be the person who cuts or styles your hair, your accountant, doctor, or even you’re landscaper. We tend to do business with people with whom we have a good relationship.
If you want to define selling, here it is: Selling is building a better relationship than the other guy. It’s that plain and simple.
If you want more business, here is your first rule. Stop talking about yourself and trying to be endearing to the customer. They are not your friend when you first meet. They don’t care about you and have no real reason to have a relationship with you at this point. Real relationships take time and are built on trust and respect. Oh sure, you might like them right away or have a good feeling about them, but give it time. Typically, if you like them, they feel the same way about you.
Here are a few things to consider to build that winning relationship.
Be genuine: Just be yourself. We like to be around sincere people who are easy to converse with. Think of it like a date – the more you are with them, the stronger the relationship.
Be patient: It takes time to forge a real relationship. If you are just trying to sell them and pretend to want to have a great relationship, this will fail. People can see through a phony person who has an agenda.
Be classy: This says it all. How do you want to be treated, remembered or thought of? If you go through life being a classy person, the rest will take care of itself.
Be competitive: It will always be about price. The key is to be competitive in your price. You will not always win the bid or have the best proposal out there, but the strong relationships endure. How many times has a buyer said to you, “Hey, I need you to come in at this price.” This means they trust you, enjoy doing business with you and want to continue to do so.
Be gracious: If you don’t get the business, continue to stay in touch and don’t knock the winner or the other salespeople who received or retained the business. The key here is to always be a gentleman or lady and be there if the need arises. One day, you will be amazed how you were in the right place at the right time by staying in it for the long haul.
It all starts and ends with the best relationship.
Hal Becker is a nationally known speaker on sales and customer service. He is the author of numerous business books including two national best sellers, “Can I Have 5 Minutes Of Your Time?” and “Lip Service.” Hal’s newest book on sales is titled “Ultimate Sales Book.” He can be reached at Halbecker.com.