People buy from a person, not a company
How many times have you purchased a product from the second salesperson that came to your door or office…selling the exact same product at the exact same price? Why? Was the exact same product at the exact same price somehow better from the second salesperson? No. Chances are, you probably trusted the second person more.
Maybe you’ve heard this and maybe you haven’t but, at the end of the day, after all the marketing campaigns, after you’ve checked off all of the steps on your sales process flow chart, after all the PowerPoint presentations (hopefully not too many…please), after all the negotiations and after the reference checks have been made, people buy from a person, not a company. The prospect may love your company and your product but if they don’t trust you, well, there’s always the second guy.
We all know that you need to sell your company and your company’s qualifications and experience, that’s a given. But don’t just jump in with “my company this and my company that”.
Start a conversation
I don’t want to get into the basics here, you know, “my name is and my company is” but, start with a short conversation. You don’t want to make this too long and have the person at the door or on the other end of the line or across the table begin to think “wow, this guy’s wasting my time”. I’ve been on both sides of that and, as the sales guy, I’ve seen that look in the prospect’s eye. Not something you want to see. As always, be respectful of your prospect’s time. But start a conversation. Ask how their day is going and be sure to listen and respond…”yes, I understand how busy a Monday can be” or “yes, that was some storm that we had last night”.
Then, introduce yourself. Before you go on that first sales call, take some time to build your talking resume. Articulate your qualifications and experience. If you feel comfortable with it, mention something personal (not too personal). Maybe something about a recent trip that you’ve been on or a movie that you’ve seen. Again, not too long. Just enough to show that you have earned the right to be there. Let them know that you’re a human being and not just another salesperson looking to make a commission.
Sometimes we get so caught up in selling our product and our company that we forget to sell ourselves.
Of course, do your homework. Let the prospect know that you understand their issues, their problems and their needs. But build the trust in you first and continue to build on that trust throughout the sales process.
It doesn’t matter if you are selling a single product door to door or you’re selling a million dollar software solution to a multi-national company. Ultimately, you are selling yourself to another person or group of persons.
Merriam Webster defines trust as, “Assured reliance on the character, ability and strength of someone.” Dictionary.com defines trust as, “Reliance on the integrity, strength and ability of a person.”
Show your prospect that they can rely on your character, your ability, your strength and your integrity. Accomplish this and your sales cycles will be shorter, your relationship with your prospect/customer more congenial and your efforts more monetarily rewarding. As for the rest, well, refer to your organization’s “Sales Process Flow Chart”.