All things being equal, customers will buy from people they like, trust and respect. And when all things are not equal, the same is often true. Customers will still buy from people they like, trust and respect. So if you want someone to buy from you, you need to be likable, trustworthy and worthy of respect. You need to make the effort to grow relationships.
The first step is to establish a comfortable conversation that encourages the prospect to regard you positively. Start by making a good first impression and working to develop rapport with your prospect.
Helpful Tips to Grow Relationships:
1. Discuss a common interest such as a hobby or an activity you both enjoy.
2. Get them talking about themselves by asking questions. People love to talk about themselves. You build the relationship while learning more about them.
3. There’s no point asking questions if you don’t listen. So listen carefully to what they say. Take notes if appropriate.
4. If someone has referred you to this prospect, start the conversation by talking positively about that person.
5. Perhaps you could offer a free check-up on their existing product to see if it continues to meet their needs. This could apply to any product that might become out-of-date, equipment, software, insurance, office space, or advertising.
Sincere compliments are an excellent way to help the prospect warm to you. Ensure your compliments are perceived as sincere:
a. Always be complimentary. Practice this with all those around you, your family members, your associates, and your manager. It’s a good habit to build.
b. Compliment actions rather than superficial attributes.
c. Follow a compliment with a question that shows genuine interest.
d. Back up your compliment with a reason. For example, if you are complimenting a person’s office, you might say, “I really like your choice of colours. Blues and grays make the room appear larger.”
e. Always talk about people in a positive manner. If you complain about others the prospects will wonder (quite correctly) what you are saying behind their backs.
These practices will give you an opportunity to establish rapport and grow relationships with the prospects. It could take two minutes or half an hour depending on your prospect. It is time well spent. At the end of this first step, if you have done it well, the prospect is saying, “I like this person. I could see myself doing business with them.” There’s no use presenting anything if they don’t like you.
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