With the good old days of the traditional sales model fading into the sunset, here are 5 great questions to ask when meeting with a customer. While the examples are geared towards the marketing industry, the meat of this article can be applied to any sales setting in any industry. Take a minute to read this slowly and then see how you can integrate some of the suggestions into your meetings with customers. And remember, making it feel more like a conversation than a sales pitch will always increase your chances of closing the deal.
If you asked any small business owner ten years ago what their biggest asset would be in 2015, I don’t think anyone would say “a likeable personality.” Thanks to an onslaught of technology over the past decade though, being “likeable” is now what can truly set you apart from the crowd (and your competition). The key is to make sure that it doesn’t stop with you as the owner. Be sure that it’s clear to your entire team that every time they are given a chance to interact with a customer, they can either win them for life or send them packing. Here’s to the former and always remembering to bring your smile.
I recently attended a digital marketing conference where one of the speakers talked about staying “top of mind” with people in his network, customers, etc. He does this by pulling 5-10 names from his rolodex each day (yes – that’s the term he used, and then went on to explain what it was to the 30 and under crowd) and make calls just to check in and say hi. Another contractor I spoke with recently mentioned using the quiet time in the winter months to send hand written notes to past customers just to check in. Then I came across this article which talks about sending 2-3 texts per day to people in your contact list just to wish them a good day.
The point is, no matter what method you choose, staying in front of your customers, vendors, designers, subcontractors, etc. ensures a better chance that when they need a service that you provide, you will be the first person that comes to mind. Who can you reach out to today that you haven’t spoken to in a while? I’ll bet they’ll be pleasantly surprised to hear from you, and who knows, maybe you’ll just brighten their day or maybe it will lead to more work. You’ll never know unless you try…
This from marketing web guru Seth Godin’s blog. It applies to painters just like it applies to lawyers, astronauts and bank robbers:
If you want something done, perhaps you would ask a professional to do it. Someone who costs a lot but is worth more than they charge. Someone who shows up even when she doesn’t feel like it. Someone who stands behind her work, gets better over time and is quite serious indeed about the transaction.
Or perhaps you could hire a passionate amateur. That’s a forum leader doing it for love, not money. An obsessive in love with the craft. A talented person willing to trade income for the chance to do what he loves, with freedom.
Please, though, don’t hire someone who just thinks it’s a job. This category represents the majority of your options, and this category is what gives work a bad name..