I’ve just starting using a new sales tool called Xeesm that allows me to learn about my clients before I meet them. I can follow my clients and potential customers across the social media world and get to know them before we meet. As an experienced sales person, it provides an incredible opportunity to get to know my clients and my future clients in easy yet positive way.
I will be sharing more information over the coming weeks on how I’m using Xeesm to grow my technology business. You can find my profile at http://xeesm.com/TrippBraden. You can sign up for your own free social media profile as well. They are a business partner of mine. They have a great story to share that just might revolutionize the way you sell. For many people, selling is the hardest part of their SMB software business. By removing the pressure at the beginning of the relationship you will be amazed at how much better your relationship becomes with potential clients.
This morning guest blogger Keith Luscher shares his thinking on how to create value from the very start of a new relationship. Keith’s blog shares how selling is changing and how he has used many of the changes to create better relationships with his target clients and customers. Keith and I agree with all the changes in selling people still buy from people they trust. Let’s take a look at what Keith has to say.
A few weeks ago I spoke to an early morning group from our chapter of the American Marketing Association. The topic was on how to get your foot in the door of prospective clients or employers where you otherwise do not have a connection or previous relationship.
When I teach this “Wedging Your Foot in the Door” strategy, one of the points I emphasize is the fact that we must each challenge ourselves to, as I call it, give another person a reason to want to have a conversation with us. They must feel as though they have more to potentially gain than to lose by giving up 20 minutes of their precious time.
During my talk, I was upfront with the attendees that I would be making follow up calls to many of them. Interestingly enough, as I proceeded with my follow up calls the following week, one of those individuals put my skills to the test…
“I appreciated what you had to share last week,” he responded over the phone. “It got me thinking quite a bit about steps I could take for my business. However, I don’t see the point in us meeting, because I really don’t know how we can help each other.”
I appreciated his candor and his position. However, I was able to schedule a visit with him by simply appealing to his logic: we are both business professionals who each must market and sell—a process which requires meeting new people. Further, I agreed with the point of his objection: How could either of us at this time possibly know how we can potentially help each other?
However, this was why I felt we SHOULD meet. And indeed, I look forward to our visit—of getting to know him and learn about what he does, as well as the challenges he faces in his business.
At the same time I think he raised an excellent point. It just reinforces one very basic fact: each of us is very busy, and must often exercise discernment in how we use our time. As you reach out to identify, qualify and meet with new people in your business, you must give them a reason to want to have an in-person conversation with you.
To this end, consider WHY other people have hired you in the past. Most of the time, prospects don’t know what they want in terms of solutions. They are focused on the desire for a specific outcome. What were some of these outcomes?
With this in mind, consider that you may offer a “consultative” visit. By this I mean, “Hey, I’m an expert at helping clients create THESE results. Are you getting these results with your present efforts? If not, let’s have a conversation.”
So this begs the question: what can a prospect GET from a 20-minute conversation with you? Can you offer an objective, third-party analysis of what they are doing right now? Is there some kind of low-cost, yet high value deliverable that you might offer that can educate your prospect on how they may further benefit from your product or service?
These are many questions that are not always easily answered. And the last thing we want to have happen is for you to do is get stuck in “analysis paralysis.” But use your experience with past and current clients, and consider what their problems, challenges and goals were BEFORE they hired you. This may very well point you in the right direction.
Keith F. Luscher (Google Search) is the author of five books, including Prospect & Flourish and Don’t Wait Until You Graduate. He is also a recruiting director for The Money Foundation /H. Beck, Inc. Prior to this work, he served professionals in the insurance and financial services industries as a management consultant. In that role, he advised producers on issues related to marketing and prospecting, and developed groundbreaking educational curriculum. Luscher previously worked in capital fund raising for eleven years, serving nonprofit organizations around the country. In addition, he is also a nationally known author, speaker, and expert in media, interpersonal communication and marketing.