Several years ago as I left the office of one of my clients, I hollered back into his office, “Don’t forget to romance this week.”
His administrative assistant turned to me and said, “How do I enroll in your training program?” Romancing the sales has proven to be one of the most effective selling principles applied by my clients. The number one reason salespeople aren’t as successful as they could be, is due to the lack of professional skills. Just to verify this point, how many of you have a degree in sales? The number two reason for lack of sales success is due to poor follow-up. Most salespeople don’t know when to follow-up or what to do if they follow-up. Either they follow-up too often and bother the prospect, or they don’t follow-up often enough and lose the sale to the competition. Further, very few sales people understand the principle of romancing the sale, which is very similar to the courting process leading to marriage.
Let me explain the process of romancing, then leave you with four lists of items that will be helpful as you embrace this most essential element of selling. Romancing is different than following up with a prospect. It has a much deeper meaning that focuses on the relationship between you and the buyer. Romancing takes only a few minutes and should not exceed three minutes with the prospect unless they invite you to stay longer. Romancing is best when it involves a personal contact, but can also be effective if your sales process only involves phone contact due to time and distance constraints. Romancing always involves leaving a physical gift of knowledge or benefit. When romancing by phone, send the gift of knowledge or benefit via fax or email and then discuss it briefly with the prospect over the phone. The romance is planned and scheduled by you, but is typically not a formally scheduled contact between you and the prospect. It is presented as a “drop in” to leave the prospect some information that will help them make the proper buying decision.
Five reasons to romance:
- People buy from people they believe, like and trust (BLT).
- Your competitors don’t romance.
- Romancing creates the opportunity for dialogue and dialogue promotes sales.
- Romancing promotes understanding.
- It is the most successful means of building a relationship with the buyer.
Ten things romancing can achieve:
- The average business–to-business sale requires seven contacts before the sale is closed. Romancing provides those contacts.
- To build trust, you need to delve below the surface where most sales people never venture. Romancing provides the forum to learn what your competitors will never know.
- Romancing involves bringing gifts of knowledge to help the prospect make informed decisions.
- Romancing puts you in the middle of the decision making process.
- When you are walking your prospects through their concerns and resolving their questions, that means your competition isn’t.
- Romancing allows you to assume the role of assistant buyer or partner in making the buying decision.
- Romancing confirms your commitment and concern for the buyer’s well being.
- Romancing puts you on the inside, while most salespeople wait patiently on the outside for a decision.
- Everyone likes to be romanced, so, your prospects will like you.
- If you don’t make the current sale, you are well positioned to make the next one because you have the “buyer’s ear.”
How often should you romance?
- If the purchase is to be made within thirty days, romance two times each week.
- If the purchase is to be made within two months romance every week until the last thirty days and then romance two times each week.
- If the purchase is to be made within twelve months, romance one time per month until the next to last month and then romance one time each week until the last month and then romance two times each week.
Types of gifts you should leave with your prospect when romancing:
- A list of high profile customers you have done business with.
- Company brochures and cut sheets.
- Letters of recommendation.
- Industry articles that promote your products and services.
- Information about your company and affiliates.
- Pictures and success stories
- Videos of products, uses, applications, demonstrations, etc.
- Hard copy of monthly newsletter.
- Company honors and recognition, press releases.
- A list of high profile sales of your products and services.
- Any information relating to the buyers hobbies or interests.
- Referrals or introductions that can benefit your prospects business.
Romancing your prospects will dramatically increase your sales and develop a relationship that will produce recurring sales, referrals and endorsements. All sales are based on emotion, and romancing the sale is the process of creating the emotion.