Why do we fail to sell potential clients? Why do so many great deals fall apart before the end? What’s the elephant in the room that’s keeping your life from taking off? In a word, it’s trust. I think it’s easy to say, but not so easy to understand. Since its Mother’s Day this week, I thought I might share what my mother taught me growing up about building better relationships with people. I think it directly applies to selling and all other ways of being persuasive. As you already know, mothers can be extremely persuasive.
The first element of success in life is you must be trusted. Not some technique or affirmation but really be trusted. Today, people are exposed to thousands of sales and marketing messages every day. From advertising to social media to sponsorships, your customers are being overwhelmed by all these messages. It’s very challenging for them to determine what they should do and how they should do it. Many have been burned by bad sales professionals that promised the moon and the stars and delivered little value to the relationship. These people feel betrayed by the people they trusted. It’s not just in their professional lives, but it also seeps into their personal lives. Almost 29% of first marriages and close to 50% of subsequent marriages end up in divorce. This makes many people reluctant to start a new relationship of any kind, including with you. The other part of creating trust is you must learn to trust others if you want them to trust you.
The second element of success in life is to understand that people don’t always have confidence in themselves. Mom used to say people can only do what they think they can. How can you get people to take action when they are not certain they can do it for themselves? You must provide your customers with certainty; you must make it easy to understand. You must approach your product or service with beginners’ eyes. We cut corners and customers lose connection with the possibilities that our product or service can provide them. We make it look so easy our clients can’t imagine they can do it as well. I have a friend who is brilliant, he knows more about investing than anyone I know. He has difficulty getting the sale, though. Why? Because people have a hard time believing they can do what he’s done. They give him many reasons, but ultimately, people don’t want to feel incapable. Are you helping people understand that they can do what you do?
The third element of success in life is helping people achieve the results you share. They have bought so many promises and so many services that didn’t deliver the results they were promised. They tried to do what you did and their results were disappointing. If you want to make more sales, build in follow-up systems. Let customers know you’re not here just to sell today but will be here over the long term. I’ve made sales because I call customers back after the sale to see how they are doing. There are a lot of reasons why you don’t do this. You might be thinking, “I can’t afford to call back all my customers.” Can you afford not to? Technology today can automate many of these processes for the sales professional. Implementing a follow-up system where you touch base on a regular basis can help you succeed faster in selling than any other thing you might do. My mom always told me feedback is the breakfast of champions. Get more feedback, have better results to share with new potential clients.
The bonus idea my mother taught me is care for your clients like they are family. We spend so much of our time working with clients why not strive to make them members of your community and life. Long before social media, great sales professionals and moms knew the more involved in your children and clients’ lives you can be, the more success you have in your life.
Happy Mother’s Day! I cannot ever thank you enough for all you’ve done for us in helping us become the people we are today. Have a great Mother’s Day and we’ll see you here next week when we talk about building a high performing leadership team.