I’m not going to try to convince you that I have the silver bullet. But, I am going to give you the basic philosophy that consistently makes me money. Good money. Some might even say outrageous money.
Be Nice…To Everyone
It just makes sense. You’re in the business of referrals.
You don’t have to do deals with the devil, but good old fashion manners and politeness will ingratiate you to lots of potential clients. Even those who aren’t will think of you when others ask for a “good guy (or gal)” to call.
Let Others Do the Talking
Listening is one of the secret arts of salesmanship. Customers will literally tell you what will motivate them to buy. They will give you the words. Tell you their expectations. And give you clues to the stumbling blocks that are stopping them from saying, “Yes!”
Stop pitching and listen for it.
Ask Questions and Care About the Answers
This is very closely associated with listening.
Open-ended questions are the best way to get good conversation going. In my experience, the number of good conversations you have in a month is directly correlated to the number of sales you land in the month.
However, the second and most important
Learn to Tell Stories
People are tried of old worn out business clichés. Swap out the performance driven, ROI measuring, excellence loving language for stories.
Tell them how Bob is a little too crazy about Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, but took ABC Corp. to the Super Bowl of online revenue with his recent project.
Explain how Susan turned her love of all things Facebook into an incredible campaign for XYZ.com last month.
Collect and share more real stories, featuring real people. And don’t worry about showing people your human side. My family always has more fun talking about Crazy Uncle Larry than Buttoned-down Bob.
Learn and Write Daily
This is one of my favorites.
In most vendor client relationships, I have found that your client needs a resource. Their day is full of operational fires. They need a go-to person when they need a solution or a break-through before the end of the month. Make yourself that fountain of creative ideas and sage solutions.
Spend a significant portion of your week keeping tuned into the latest and greatest in your industry. Also, spend a little time curiously venturing beyond your expertise and learning new things. This will spark creativity and broaden your perspective on projects.
Most importantly, as you learn document what you learn. I suggest writing up short how-to PDFs or blog posts that can be easily shared with clients.
Even cooler, if you use a blog to share these new thoughts and ideas you might even attract new clients.
How do you get outrageous sales numbers? Share your winning moves in the comments.