Monday, May 31, 2010

3 Sales Tips To Develop A Long Term Customer-Relationship

I was about to start eating my delicious Pork-Sate meal last night with a nice cold orange juice for my drink to complete my dinner when suddenly someone called out my name.

It was Ms. Rizza, one of my closest customers when I was still selling Ice Cream for Magnolia (San Miguel Foods Premium Ice Cream Brand). We haven't really seen each other for quite sometime and yet she was still very fond of me.

I invited her to join me and my wife for a sumptuous meal in one of my favorite restaurants in Cebu. Our "little chat" took almost an hour, and I noticed that my wife is slowly feeling out of place. (There's a sales mentor lesson here, I promise).

After a few minutes more talking about her life, her family and her family business I cordially bid goodbye. She gladly offered to pay the bill and of course I gave in (I tried to convince her I would pay of course, wink).

While driving on our way home, I remembered a classic sales mentor lesson - "selling is 80% relationship and 20% technical selling".  

I remember that all my life as a sales person, I focused more in building trust rather than just trying to make a sale. There were even times in my sales career that I took the side of my customer, rather than the company where I was working for. I choose to because I knew my customer and trusted her that they were telling the truth. Secondly, I knew pre-hand that our company was to blame for the mistake.

For me, my success as a salesperson would have not been possible if I had not focused on gaining trust and confidence with my customers.

So here's a few steps, I took that greatly contributed to gaining my customers' trust.

1. Go out on casual dinners

Like developing your relationship with your family, our customers are no different. We have to spend a fun and casual time with them.

It's like being a parent taking your kids to the movies or to a play ground. You don't restrict them like you are at home telling them do to their homework.

You are choosing a "neutral ground" both for you as salesperson and your customer. During your dinner, never sell him a single kind product that you have, just focus on knowing your customer better and learn his preferences. In fact, this is the best time for you to listen to his plans and goals wherein you can insert your product in the future.

2. Be transparent

This I believe is a non-negotiable aspect in selling. You have to be fully transparent when it comes to the reality of your service or product. Remember that when you are selling, you are providing a need that a customer has, therefore, an emotional factor in your customers mind.

Always put limits to selling points and only cite real-proven benefits that your product or service can provide.

As a sales mentor I've seen many salespeople fall to the trap of exaggeration and often appearing as a BS salesmen to many of their prospects.

If you want a long-lasting relationship with your customers, be transparent.

3. Be concerned

We all know that in today's times we are all pretty busy with many aspects in our lives. Being concerned for your customers gives them a sense of feeling that you as a person trully cares for their business.

Always give your customers a sense of urgency. Help them develop their business or life through your products and services.

Whenever they have concerns of your product or service, always offer them your aid. Don't just point them to a customer support hotline that will hear out their concerns but personally guide them the process. In fact, if it is possible for you to attend to their concerns right away then do so without hesitation.

Now you know one of the best practices I do as a sales mentor to develop long lasting relationship with your customers. Make sure you take action and apply it to your selling career as well.

Dedicated to your selling success.

Sales Mentor TM. 


Related Posts with Thumbnails