by Bob Kenworthy, “Balanced Achievement – Achieve Your Future!”
We’ve seen a dramatic shift in how sales are done these days. With the abundance of opinion sites and social media’s “instant feedback”, the old school rules simply don’t apply. People are a lot more likely to ask a friend’s opinion, or check reviews on-line before you even know they are a potential customer!
So, what does this mean? Well, from my experience, sales are more “relationship-based” now, as opposed to the “transaction based” model of old. “Closing” used to be the goal, whereas now, even the word sends chills up my spine. It’s so final, implying “We’re done here!” Today, we need to keep relationships alive and “word of mouth” is a much more powerful tool than ever before. People are MUCH more likely to write a bad review or tell friends of bad service than they are the good, it’s just human nature!
That said, do you know what people are saying about you or your business? By focusing on improving and enhancing sales skills to keep up with current market expectations, you show your customers you care about THEM! This is where the difference between “customer satisfaction” and “customer loyalty” comes in. A “satisfied” customer is not likely to say anything good or bad, but a “loyal” customer is likely to spread the good and excuse the occasional bad. As this relates to sales, it is critical, now more than ever, to listen to what the customer is saying, both vocally and with their body language. It’s now about helping a client identify their need, then having the means to help them fill that need. Approaching a potential customer with assumptions of what they need can kill a sale fast!
So, really, it boils down to this: are you identifying and meeting a need for your customer, or are you selling them on what you have to offer? The latter leaves many people feeling uneasy and, (even if smiling to your face), wanting to get away from you as soon as possible! They won’t want to take any future calls from you, thus killing any future hope of business. Treating potential clients with the respect they deserve, cultivating the relationship, being responsive to their needs and pro-active when there is a mistake will save you a lot of time and effort, as well as improve the likelihood of future business and positive word-of-mouth opinions, both verbally and via social media!
Finally, think about how you want to be treated in a sales transaction. Is that how you are treating your potential clients? It all boils down to behavior change and adjusting attitudes as related to your sales efforts, improving relationships with your clients and helping them to feel comfortable that any referral they send your way will be treated with the utmost respect and consideration. This is what builds long-term customer loyalty, increased sales and, of course, increased revenue in today’s market! See http://www.SuccessInSalesAustin.com for more details!
Bob can be reached at (512) 961-8314, or via the Balanced Achievement web page at www.balancedachievement.com . Bob is available for speaking engagements, corporate inquiries or one-to-one meetings to help people and organizations achieve higher levels of success, both personally AND professionally!