Bathrooms are often the first stop that passengers make at an airport. Clean, uncrowded bathrooms that are easy to find are a huge factor in how well-liked an airport is. What’s even more important is that the bathroom cleanliness impacts whether travelers will purchase food or shop at airport stores. Travelers’ satisfaction with bathrooms predicts sales success. Customers are judging you. What do your customers use as a gauge for your sales success?
How do you show what you know?
You want to show your customers that you are knowledgeable and a valuable resource for them. Sharing your expertise puts you in a delicate situation. You must be very careful when you need to maintain the confidentiality of your customers. It’s like the perception created by someone who is a gossip. When someone talks about someone else, the listener often wonders, “I wonder what he says about me.”
Yet, in business you have to demonstrate your knowledge. That knowledge often comes because you know what other successful businesses are doing. Use your judgment when you discuss what you know about another company. Maintain confidentiality when you have to by being ambiguous and not naming the company specifically. You might not even reference the industry so you keep the company anonymous. Instead of “The injection molding company I was working with was able to… “You could say, “The $x annual revenue company I was working with was able to…”
What do you know about my business?
Most prospects and customers are pressed for time. They have too much to do and not enough time to accomplish their objectives. What does that mean for you? It might be more difficult to get the appointment with a time pressed prospect. Once you’re in, you have to prove that you can help them accomplish their goals and business objectives. If you are going to be a resource to them, you have to have knowledge that isn’t easy for them to get or knowledge that they want to have access to.
How do you do that? You demonstrate that you have the ability to help them with their business. You do that by uncovering the issues that are important to your prospect.
You come to the sales call with a general idea of the issues that a prospect is facing based on his industry and your research into his particular business. Your questions should demonstrate knowledge of his industry. A question that does that is, “Some of the people I work with in (your area) are interested in improving X. Is that something you are considering?” You have just demonstrated that you could be a valuable resource when a customer indicates he is interested. Even better is the answer shows if it is important to your prospect.
No one cares about how hard you work.
Forget about thinking that working hard will generate customer approval. No one cares how hard you work. All they care about is what you accomplish for them. Your sales meetings should generate results for your prospects. Bring useful information to them. Demonstrate how you can reduce costs, avoid costs or help them make money. The days of stopping buy and taking someone to lunch and thinking that’s selling are over. Your prospects and customers may like you, but unless you can produce something of use to them, they won’t care.
Just be sure you document what you do. A letter you write is adequate proof of performance. Be sure to write these letters to your customer and thank them for being able to work with them and deliver the results you have.
Whether you like it or not, your customers are judging you. They’re determining whether to keep buying from you. Keeping your business should be one of your highest priorities. Do you know how your customers are judging you?