Caring – Defined as displaying kindness and concern for others. It’s a term not often heard in the sales process. In fact, for most businesses, sales is just a means to an end. A way to get a potential customer to buy your products and services and bring in the bacon. But Dale Carnegie said it best: “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
Honestly caring about the people who buy what you have to sell is the key to success in sales. So if you are looking to increase sales in your small business, here are a few ideas that can help to win the hearts of your prospects and customers:
Put down the bullhorn.
People don’t care what you know until they know that you care. It is a truism in life and in sales. Before you try to persuade your prospects and customers to buy your product or service, they need to first know that you truly care about solving their problem. Showing your prospects and customers that you care is not just about being all mushy and emotional. It’s more about being a genuine and authentic at every step of the communication process and being a great listener.
That means asking questions with a sense of curiosity and truly looking for ways to provide valuable solutions to your prospects challenges.
At the end of the day, caring about their needs first might just lead you to tell a potential customer that your product may not be the best for them or that a competitor’s product might be. Either way people will appreciate your refreshing approach to solving their problem, giving you a better chance to earn their trust and their business down the road or maybe even a referral.
Do what you say.
When a new prospect engages with you or your business the first thing that goes through their mind is can I TRUST you? Trust between you and your potential and current customers only happens when your business delivers on the promises that have been made. It is one of the golden rules of sales-Do what you say you were going to do. That means follow up when you said you would.
Whether it’s a response to a simple pricing request or delivering your service on time, every time, prospects become repeat customers when they can depend on your word. In fact, there is nothing worse in sales than when a business promises something in the sales process and doesn’t deliver. It is a surefire way to show a prospect that you care more about making the sale than keeping your word.
Think about promises you need to keep with your customers and work hard to keep them everyday. For example at Hatchbuck, we share our promises on our website so we can build trust and confidence with prospects and customers. It is a great way to keep us accountable and reminds daily that promises made to our prospects are promises kept once they become a valued customer.
Understand your impact on others.
When it comes to caring about people in sales, don’t forget about everyone that is required to make a great customer experience happen.
After all sales doesn’t just happen in a vacuum. It involves relationships. That means your customer, your customer service team, your vendors (just to name a few) are key to pulling of a successful sale. So with every sale that’s closed there is a ripple effect to the decision of signing the right customer or force fitting a solution into the wrong situation.
For example, let’s say you own a bike manufacturing company that decides to sign a new customer that that is looking to buy 1000 new mopeds. So who wouldn’t want a 1000 new units right? By just focusing on the sale and not on the customer needs, it causes a huge problem for the business in it’s ability to keep a happy customer long-term.
Showing care for everyone involved in the sales process will go along way to helping your business find and keep the right kind customers and ultimately deliver a better customer experience.
Care about people beyond the sales process.
Being a business that cares will make a lasting impression if you show that you care about people in general and not just those who are interested in buying your products. Look for ways to make an impact within your community by sponsoring non-profits when you can or even by offering your support during area disasters or tragedies.
For example, if a youth sports team needs funding, be willing to offer what you can and if a major storm leaves many people struggling, offer to donate food and bottled water. The more active you are in the areas where your presence is not a requirement but a voluntary action, the higher your reputation of being a caring business will climb with your prospects and customers.
Success in sales is not just about closing more customers for your small business. It’s about demonstrating that you care about the needs and interests of your prospects and customers. Authentically caring about people is the key to sales and business success.Business & Finance Articles on Business 2 Community