At my house we are in the throes of college selection for my high school senior. It has been an amazing experience and reminds me of a valuable sales lesson.
My son applied to six colleges on the advice of his guidance counselor. They are six schools he had determined might be a good fit for him and his area of study.
It says nothing about the schools that have been passionately courting him. Schools he didn’t consider have been trying to gain his interest as well. The schools that were courting him and the schools that accepted him have something in common – the approach they use to close the sale.
Closing the Sale by Feeling Wanted
These are schools that have seen my sons records and would like him to attend their school. They write, they call, they have students call, and they invite him to events.They do just about everything they can think of to let him know they value him and want him as a student/client. They even reached out to us, his parents.
You see, if we are aware of how much they value our son – maybe we’d work on him from our end.
These are the schools that sent him acceptance letters. Well, actually, some of the schools called him or texted him to congratulate him on his acceptance.
They are so excited to welcome him to their school and they are sharing that excitement with him.
Talk About Feeling Wanted!
We can learn a lot about sales from this experience.
Prospective clients want to know that you really value them. That you want to do business with THEM. It isn’t enough to have a basic structure to your sales process. You have to create a plan that really highlights how much you want to do business with them specifically.
When a prospect feels like they matter to you, it changes the way they view a potential relationship with you. So, how can you:
- Create an environment that celebrates prospective clients?
- What can you do to let them know that they are valued and they matter to you?
- Once they become a client, how can you clearly acknowledge the importance to you that they have trusted you to help them solve their problem?
Now is the time to create a program that you can launch and implement consistently. You can always adapt and adjust your plan as you roll along and learn more about those prospects and clients.
What would make them feel special?
Remember, it’s about them, not you. Developing a program that has an impact on them is the one that will make the most difference to your bottom line.
This works in every relationship. If you feel wanted, you come together. If you don’t feel wanted you leave. In an increasingly digital world, that personal touch goes a long way.
I tend to remember those in businesses (no matter the business size) who see me, not through me. I’m likely to come back based on my experience with that one person.
Yes it seems that maybe because we are so ‘detached’ in this digital age we need to pay closer attention to how we are courting our prospects. Nothing trumps the personal touch.
I’d have to agree with Robert here. It’s true that this works for every relationship. The good thing about having a business is the fact that it is a series of relationships. The more you are able to nourish relationships, the more sales you are able to make.
Aira, I just want to let you know, that I will steal your sentence: “Business is a series of relationships.”
One of the simple strategies I have for consistently making my customers feel special is, slightly over estimating delivery times. Then, delivering early with a little more than they were expecting. Services like copywriting and social media marketing can be illusive and hard to quantify the immediate value for many small business owners. When they decide to work with you, initially, it’s a sign of their trust.
I like to reward that trust with efficiency, attention to detail, and a tendency to over deliver where at all possible.Make clients/customers/friends/lovers/ anyone, feel more wanted, and they are more likely to stick around.
Same with staff. Praise, thanks, consideration, and flexibility goes a long way in keeping people loyal, and levelling up for you.
so true Stacey!
The motive behind this article is to create an environment that the client feels needed.
Now, imagine if it was true. In business, it is true, though some in the business don’t get it.
Every business depends on someone else or it’s not a business. Synthesizing care is better than not at all. So, hire those who care and the culture will change to genuine service and you will quickly become a brand.
Love the idea of hiring those who care. Such a good point! Everyone in a business must understand client care. Thanks Curtis.
I’m totally with you on this (and have kids at a similar age). I manage sales staff and find, left to their own devices, many of the sales staff are great at speaking to customers about their own needs but unfortunately, much less effective at describing what they can do for the customer. One would think this would be a pretty obvious way to go forward – focusing on the customer.
Fortunately, we’re working on seeing things from the customer’s POV, and an increase in focus and emphasis on customer needs is starting to pay off.
Great for you to help the sales staff change their focus! It really is so very important.
Diane, well done and thank you for this huge contribution. Exactly what I needed to remember about ‘selling’ today…it’s about them!