I remember many years ago when I first met my wife Peggy and began the courting process. We had seen each other on campus but we didn’t run in the same circle of friends. I had heard that she was serious with someone else and I wanted her to be serious with me. My challenge was to cause her to focus on me and not on someone else. This is a dilemma that every salesperson faces regularly. Every prospect already has their favorites, those people with whom they have been purchasing long before we came on the scene. The challenge is the very same situation I faced with Peggy – how do you get them to focus on you when they are already focusing on someone else.
I’ll tell you what I didn’t do. I didn’t sell myself cheap. I didn’t give her extended terms. I didn’t “bad mouth” the competition. But, what I did do was to romance her to the point that she couldn’t resist me and I did it in ways that were appreciated without being awkwardly noticed. I would create opportunities to be where she was so we could casually talk and break down those barriers of not being her number one guy. We would do a lot of impromptu and informal things so I didn’t appear to be going head to head with the competition. Peggy was seeing far more of me than the other guy and that meant that she was having far more fun with me than the other guy and that led to our relationship growing while the other guy’s was dwindling. The end result was that Peggy got married and the other guy wasn’t invited to her wedding.
Now, let’s relate this theme of courting and romance to selling. Here is a short list of subtle activities you can apply immediately to increase your chances of winning sales.
1. Create opportunities or reasons to be in front of your prospects. Use romance pieces that you can leave with the prospect to create a reason for being there and to add clarity and value to your offering.
2. Reciprocate any contact they have with you. If they call you on the phone with a question or for any reason, you contact them back about something totally different within twenty-four hours. That way you can double the opportunity for contact.
3. Send your prospect a card or an email or even a text thanking them for the personal phone contact you have recently had with them. They call you, then you call them and follow-up with a card or email or text. Now, you have tripled the amount of contact.
4. Discover their interests, motivations, fears and triumphs. Talk about them, focus on them and help them achieve their personal and business goals.
5. Learn their job so you can help them be successful. When you help others to be successful they will reciprocate and help you be successful. That leads to buying your products instead of the other guy’s and he will never see it coming.