It's all about building trust...
In Unlock the Sales Game, author and sales guru Ari Galper writes, “If there wasn’t trust built prior to the client dropping off, then you can’t just reengage them. You have to start from the beginning.”
In this high-pressure, always connected universe, it’s sometimes easy to forget that the fundamental principle of successful sales negotiations comes down to authenticity. We’re accustomed to delivering sales scripts, creating strategies, and pushing hard-core pitches that we believe will realize our goal – closing a sale.
However, reconnecting with prospects is not about our sales goals, it’s about building trust. Galper also claims sales reps sometimes sabotage themselves by only focusing on the traditional selling model. We bypass the most crucial element of sales, “building a conversation.” To reconnect successfully, we must recalibrate how we think about building trust, particularly at the start of a new year, when goals may shift imperceptibly, but enough to influence outcome significantly.
Here are some ways to begin again.
Reset Your Objectives
The holidays are often one big sales burnout – we’re exhausted by all the family drama, hyper expectations, and incessant rush. Oh yes, there may be some peace on Earth but it’s a hard- fought battle. It takes monumental effort for people to get back into their routine, and chances are they’ll be on guard for all the usual sales drivel.
To engage prospects post-holiday, you’ll need to shift your mental focus to building that conversation. Before you send an email or pick up a phone, restate your goal in your head. It should be to exchange information that builds trust – and only that.
Open With a Dialogue
Not a Presentation
The essential first steps of any conversation cannot be about what you have to offer or your perfect sales pitch – you must discover what your prospects’ priorities are. Are you aware of their trade show schedules and marketing events? Have they just unveiled a new feature? Ask them about it – find out what they’re grappling with and note it for the future.
Forego the traditional introduction about you and your company and focus on what your prospect needs. As a matter of fact, think of your prospect as a friend in need.
Put yourself in their shoes. What would make their lives easier? Ask them about areas where you can improve. Find out what you need to do to gain or retain their business for another year. Have that conversation before you focus on selling.
Don’t Forget to “Ask”
This goes back to finding out what prospects are grappling with. You can’t pitch them until you know what they need and that implies a conversation – probably more than one.
Ask how you can help them. Do you know what their recent pain points are? Are they still a good fit, or should you walk away from the sale? Ask them what their future looks like. Your goal should be to understand your prospect’s strategic initiatives. It will help you to map out new solutions and initiate relevant conversations.
When reengaging with prospects you want to become a forward-thinking ally, and to do this you have to revamp your mind set. Your behavior will never change if your way of thinking remains the same. Shifting your objective to building conversations that allow a level of trust is essential.
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