Whether you are cold calling or using client contacts to find new customers, you need to be able to change a contact into a client. It is important to handle yourself in a way that will make a client trust you and makes it easier to build a good rapport with him. The key to doing this is to build a good connection with him as soon as you meet him.
1: See Your Client as an Equal
The first step is seeing your client as your equal. You will not win any clients by treating them in a condescending manner. Additionally, it does not work when you consider your client who is above you. This can cause you to come across as groveling. If you approach your client as a peer with a product that can help him or his business, he is much more likely to respond positively. If you struggle with this, be sure to come across as being confident without being overbearing. Meeting your client’s eye, and shaking his hand is just the first step in doing this.
2: Be Prepared
Understanding your client’s needs and what his company does will help you make a strong connection when you go into your first sales meeting with him. It does not take long to do your homework on a client, find out what his business does, and what his possible business needs are. It is also important to understand his competition so that you can offer products or services that will help his business do better. Just like when you interview for a job, and you need to demonstrate an understanding of the company you are applying to work at, you should have that same basic understanding for a client you are trying to win over.
3: Keep It Short and Simple
It is important to remember that every client is busy, and you are one item in a long list he needs to get through during the day. This means you need to make your presentations short and sweet. Rambling conversations that do not focus on your product can be frustrating and a turn off to your client. It can also be frustrating to hear overlong explanations of the products you are selling. Although you do want to build a good working relationship, which means getting to know your client, you do need to keep it professional, which means not taking up too much of his time.
4: Understand Your Client
All the research you do on a company may not prepare you to understand your client’s current needs. Take the time to ask him open-ended questions about the services he needs to make his business succeed. It may be that your initial thought or product you want to offer him isn’t as important as another one that your company provides. Understanding his needs, listening to his priorities and looking for solutions to his current problems can land you a client that will keep coming back to you.
5: Be Honest
When you are trying to impress a client, you may be afraid to state your true opinion about a product or service, or try to promise something your company can’t deliver. Telling the truth or asking him about a point you disagree with can help you gain the respect of your potential client. This helps him see you as an equal instead of someone who is lower than him. This is a fine line and while candor is important, you should do it in a respectful way.
Using these strategies will help you turn your contacts into steady clients. It takes effort, and practice to win over new customers. You should work on building your people and presentation skills throughout your career. What have you done to successfully turn a contact into a client?
What are your tips to winning more business? What strategies do you use to get a potential customer to say YES!?
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