You ever walk out of a meeting with a client feeling like you just got dragged through the mud and then hit by a truck then beat with a stick?
If so, you’re doing it wrong.
It doesn’t matter what goes on in a client meeting, you should walk out of it filled with their passion for their project. If they’re upset at you, or the process, or the product it is because they have a real passion for how things should be. On the other side, a client who is pumped up as you leave loves sharing their passion with you. A client who has vision for their product should be the best fuel you can find. We left a meeting with a client out of state absolutely pumped because we saw how much fervor they have for their new idea.
One of our guys at Integrum recently said of one of our projects “The reason it’s not going well is that no one cares about it or is excited about it.” We had lost the passion for their project that makes them drive so hard towards a really cool application. His next line though shows the way out of it “I do care though, and I want to make this project awesome.”
Talk to your clients, get involved in what makes them so zealous about their project. If you can find a part of that spark, and connect with it as they do – you’ll never want for energy to work on their project – and never want for happy clients.
I stumbled across a poll somewhere this week that asked “What do Salespeople do that irritates you the most?”
As a salesperson most of these answers don’t surprise me. But let me break them down from a salesman’s perspective for you – and how to not be “that guy”
- They’re too aggressive/pushy/manipulative – Well based off my posts on persistence and asking for the sale – its kinda part of the point to be aggressive. But at this point it is where good salespeople show up the weaker salesmen. You can be aggressive without coming off as aggressive. It is all in the presentation at this point.
- They know nothing about the product they are trying to sell – This is 100% on management and the salesman at that point. If you don’t take the time to learn what you’re selling, you’re doing it wrong. No other words for it. Learn your product, because your client certainly will. If not, someone else will tell them why they have the better product.
- They ignore me and continue to talk to their co-workers – Really? People still do this. These “salesmen” won’t be “salesmen” for long. Again, bad on management and on the salesman.
So most of the problems people have with salespeople boil down to the fact that most people are dealing with poorly trained salesmen. None of the three things above can’t be overcome by training.
If you’re a manager – train your salesmen.
If you’re a salesman – train yourself!
If You want the fruit to fall, You have to shake the tree.
Persistence and endurance are among the most important traits for a salesman to have. If you don’t like to hear the word no, you’re in the wrong field. There will be times you will hear the word “No” 100 times before you get a “Yes”. Sometimes from the same customer. If you give up after the first “No”, you’re never going to get there. The best deals are the ones you have to work for. Hearing a No is just a way to help build a relationship so that you can get closer to a Yes. This concept was once described to me as having the “skin of a rhino” – ie you have to let the No and the bad things people will say to you just bounce off you as though your skin was as thick as a Rhinoceros. If you take things personally, it will eat away from the inside, so keep that stuff out.
The best way to be persistent is to be constantly in the face of your customer. Unless you’re a door to door guy, then probably not in the literal sense. Email often, call even more often, and be available when the customer would need you to be.
Jeremy Tanner wrote a great post that nearly exactly says what I was planning for this at his blog under the title of “The Social Network that Beats Twitter or Facebook”. His point and mine – PICK UP THE DAMN PHONE. When it rings – ANSWER IT. When you have a question for your client – CALL THEM. Client has an issue – CALL THEM. Haven’t closed the deal yet – CALL THEM – Ask for the Sale again.
Even better than this is to regularly call clients who DON’T have problems and just say “Hey, I just had an idea for you about….” and fill in the blank. Make it something that fits to what you’re selling and something that benefits them, even if its just a charity event they would be interested in going to or a newspaper article from that day that in some way is related to them.
Follow up, follow up, follow up – on the phone – and you will close more deals and turn more clients into customers.