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May 29, 2015
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Nine Ways to Bolster Sales

By Vince DiCecco, Your Personal Business Trainer

Many businesses expend a tremendous amount of effort to develop the “perfect” sales strategy, but few make a concerted commitment to study how people make buying decisions. Author and noted speaker Jeffrey Gitomer often reminds sales professionals and managers of his trademarked mantra—“People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy!” In my opinion, that should be any sales organization’s guiding light to identify and develop the best way to gain new clients and grow revenues.

However, just banking on the fact that people love to buy is not enough to ensure their delight. So, what is the secret to winning over customers? Well, there’s the often-cited belief that “People buy from people who they know, like and trust.” I have no qualms with the adage—but it doesn’t go far enough.

There’s an additional factor that could tip the scales of most shoppers in your favor versus a competitor—namely, convenience. Surely there ought to be ways we can enhance one’s likeability, trustworthiness and pension for making the buying experience a pleasure, right?

Likability

Some people are naturally likable. Good for them. The rest of us must do something else that will make people sit up, take notice and want to get to know us better.

Consider these top three ways to develop your likability:

  1. Be accessible and responsive. Consider how easy it is to reach your voicemail and how long it takes you to return a message.
  2. Be a good listener. The best listeners are patient, don’t interrupt, ask open-ended questions, exhibit body language that lets you know they are tuned in and interested, and recap what they heard.
  3. Be appreciative. Take the time to say “thank you,” and be specific about exactly what you are thankful for. Consider also the power of handwritten notes.

Trust

When it comes to selling, likability alone is rarely enough—you need to become truly trusted. Customers want to know that they can trust the product, the business and the sales representative’s words, actions and promises.

Here are the top three ways to gauge and enhance your trustworthiness:

  1. To a fault, keep your word. When you say you are going to do something, do it. When you do make a mistake, fess up to it, own the error, and state plainly that you’re sorry—along with what you are going to do to make it right.
  2. Under-promise and over-deliver. If you can confidently deliver in, say, three days, tell customers it will take four or five days, then notice the buyer’s delight when you deliver early. Let a third party testimonial vouch for your reliability by sharing their experience of your work, in their own words.
  3. Be consistent. Train your clientele to expect a certain level of quality in everything you do and constantly deliver on that promise. When you do, they’ll come to you first rather than going elsewhere.

Convenience

People make their buying decisions based on emotion, especially when it comes to purchases for the home. Find out what is most important to the person or people doing the buying and sell to that need in a way that makes it a pleasurable experience.

Want to be thought of as a joy with which to do business? Here are three ways:

  1. Be different than the norm. Find your unique value proposition—that one thing that you’ve mastered and that your competition doesn’t know how to do, doesn’t think to do, or isn’t willing to do. Review your policies and get rid of or revise any that don’t really serve or make sense to the buyer.
  2. Be genuine. Be authentic and express yourself in a down-to-earth, unscripted voice. Communicate with passion, share your stories and get personal.
  3. Be open to suggestions. Seek feedback with “voice of the customer” surveys. Do the market research that your competitors won’t. Keep your finger on the pulse of what your target niche is looking for.

Final Thoughts

The reality is, your business won’t pick up real momentum until you’ve mastered the “like, trust and make convenient” factors. Face-to-face salespeople have known this for decades, yet some customer call centers and e-commerce marketers are still struggling to get it right. But now, you know the truth, right? Good luck!

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