When it comes to sales, first impressions count, especially if you know that you’re just one of a number of businesses your prospective client is looking to work with. Some psychologists believe it takes just seven seconds to create a lasting impression, but throughout the entire sales journey, it’s up to you and your sales team to create and sustain a good impression – so, when your client is thinking about who to choose for the next order, your business is front of mind.
Look the part
Like it or not, people still judge a book by its cover, so if you aren’t sure about dress etiquette for a client, it’s better to over-dress than under-dress until you get to know them better. Dress the way you want to be perceived. If you look professional, you’ll be treated as a professional. Aside from that, dressing for the part can make you feel more confident. The same applies to your sales materials and leave-behinds. Invest in high quality printed materials with clear branding. Include testimonials and case studies where possible and make sure your contact details are on everything.
Being genuine doesn’t require any special skills, it’s just about being ‘yourself’’, but when your goal is to elicit trust, this can make you appear much more likeable, personable and authentic to a potential client. And as every good salesperson knows, that can be the key to a long term sales relationship.
Don’t go straight to the pitch. Chat about their business and the challenges they face first. You can gain good insights that you can use for your sales pitch simply through small talk. People like to talk about themselves, so be curious, ask questions and show interest in the answers. Smile, maintain eye contact and be aware of your non-verbal gestures.
Know your product - solve their problems
Knowledge is power especially when it comes to your product. Make sure you know everything there is to know about what you’re selling and have a prepared answer for any potential question that comes your way. Demonstrate that you’re more focussed on solving the client’s problem rather than viewing them as a sales opportunity. If there is anything you can’t ask, make a note and say you’ll get back to them with an answer within 24 hours - just make sure you do!
Get on with it
Many people dread meetings – especially busy decision-makers - the quicker you can get to the point, the more they’ll like what you have to say. Be enthusiastic, but be succinct and brief. Get your message across in as few words as possible and you’ll make more of an impact. If your prospect thinks you’re wasting their time in any way, they won’t want to do business with you in future. The same applies to your sales materials. Keep brochures and leave-behinds short and to the point, highlighting the benefits as opposed to heavy technical specs.
Surprise your best customers
Creating a lasting impression doesn’t end with the sale. Rewards such as a surprise discount on the next purchase or a gift card can make a big impact on your best customers, boosting loyalty and repeat business. Even just a message saying ‘thank you’ can go a long way to cementing a sales relationship.
Pay attention to each customer’s preferences when they do business with you. You can use this to build the relationship by customising your product/service and the way you interact with them. It’s all about making them feel special and unique, so they’ll want to do more business with you.
Keep on doing what you’re doing
Post-sale, remain connected to your customers whether that’s through follow up calls, email or social media. Consistently make a positive and memorable impact on your clients and you will maintain a presence long after you’ve left the room. More importantly, your client will remember you the next time they’re considering who to approach for their next order.Return back to Knowledge