Every B2B buyer seeks the “perfect” vendor match, and every sales person hopes that their solution is the perfect fit for their audience. All types of businesses are looking for services that will help alleviate their pain points, and in today’s world, which consists of close to a billion webpages on the internet, it is incredibly difficult to know where to even begin your search.
There is an abundance of technology at our fingertips, and it is extremely easy for us to hide behind a computer screen when communicating with clients or prospects. In this day and age, sales people are often left with two choices:
1) Spend 45 minutes with one prospect by phone or in-person building rapport
2) Send thousands of prospecting emails with a couple of clicks of the mouse, and then sit and wait.
Which would you predict has the best rate of response? Unfortunately for those emailers out there, the wait could wind up being endless! According to Salesforce.com blogger Stuart Leung, telephone-based outreach delivered an 8.21% response rate as opposed to the incredibly low .03% from an email marketing blast.
In truth, we ALL have some degree of call reluctance. Our resistance to picking up the phone is keeping us from helping others effectively, and being the best versions of ourselves in the sales world.
Essentially, it comes down to building a relationship and trust with your client or prospect. An average sales person thinks that it is most effective to speak to someone WHEN they are ready to buy your product or service, but research shows that top performers will begin the relationship months or even years BEFORE their prospect is ready to buy. With the overload of information in their search, most buyers have a general distrust of the sales process – There is a fear of pitches, manipulative marketing tactics, building up “hype” around getting the best deal, etc.
With the technology that we have now, it makes it exceptionally convenient to send a quick line and not pick up the phone or travel to see prospects. So how can we make a true personal connection with our customers?
Here are some tips that may help any sales person bond with prospective clients that go above and beyond a quick turnaround sale:
- Personal Connection. Do you remember the connection you had with a waitress that recommended something you loved, a personal trainer who became like your therapist, a retail employee that helped you find the perfect gift for your mother, or even a car salesperson that made the car buying process quick and simple, with no haggling nonsense? You were so pleased in the end that you will return to them over and over. Why? What makes these examples so significant? Because it isn’t a transaction at that point, it’s a personal connection.
- Ask Questions. Once you know what your prospect is actually looking for in a product or service, it is much easier to show them how your product can satisfy their needs. They will trust you much more than if you were just spewing information at them that sounds scripted and rehearsed.
- Engage your Prospects. We are all busy! Set aside just a few extra minutes a day to send a personalized email or make a quick call with product updates, a blog you believe they may appreciate, a special sale that is going on within your company they may benefit from, or wishing them good luck at an event. It’s the little things that make a difference.
- Really Listen. No person wants to feel that their salesperson is not actually listening and absorbing what they are saying. Prospects want to feel like you can help them get their needs met.
- Do your best to communicate offline. According to Ken Krogue of InsideSales.com, face-to-face sales close 2.5 times more than remote sales.
- Patience is Key. Would you rather close a sale for $1000 right now or $100,000 in one year? Never make someone feel rushed, because you are only hurting yourself in the long run.
In truth, personalizing the sales process is an incredibly important aspect that seems too often get lost in translation. Your audience will no longer tolerate marketing and sales messages that aren’t personalized. The days of email blasting promotions are over. We need to get back to basics, and remember that people are surrounded by an overload of information and marketing messages at all times! You need to stand out amongst the rest, and that will not happen through an email blast. The sales process can be exhausting, hence why your prospects wish to build a relationship with you as much as you do. The last thing they want to do is start from scratch with another search. We need to give them a reason not to!
Written by: Tara Plastock