Time is more precious today than ever before. And chances are, your customers are feeling the pressure.
They’re likely being asked to do more with less, and are probably less eager to meet with you than they were just a year or two ago. Nowadays, getting customers to reliably make time to see you calls for a different approach, says sales coach Dave Kahle. They need to expect that they will gain some value for the time spent with you.
Build your own value
Before every sales call, when you are thinking about what you want to do, and what tools and materials you’ll need, take a moment and ask, “What is the customer going to gain out of this time he spends with me?”
Some possible answers:
- Good ideas to help him in his business or his job.
- Some ways to help her gain more business.
- Ways to distinguish himself from others.
- Ideas about how to reduce her costs.
Alternatively, you might come to the meeting armed with ways to help your customer:
- Resolve some conflict.
- Simplify processes or procedures.
- Solve some operations problem.
- Move closer to some objective.
- Feel better about himself.
If you can’t name anything the customer will gain, you can safely assume the time she spends with you in that sales call will be a waste of her time. Your relationship may be able to withstand one or two of those calls, but in the long term, wasted time will destroy a business relationship.
Always present, always ask
If you are going to bring value to every customer, every time, you’ll need to spend more time preparing to do so. That brings us to two simple rules to add value to every sales call:
- Present something, every time.
- Ask something, every time.
In every sales call, have something to talk about, to educate the customer on, which will be of value. Then ask a question or two that causes the customer to think about her situation in a new way. Over time, you’ll build a reputation for adding value. And that’s a great strength in the marketplace.
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