A glass of Cabernet Sauvignon served precisely at 62 degrees…
Strawberries covered in chocolate…
Norah Jones music playing softly in the background…
“Do your budget demands require that we wait until next month to implement, or can we move forward right away?”
No. I am not writing a PG-13 rated blog today. I am writing about the romance in sales.
Developing customer relationships that last is accomplished in much the same way as developing personal relationships that last. Both require time, trust, and a little bit of romance.
The romance may come in many forms. It may come in the form of how the prospect views the value that your service or product provides to them. It may come from the “bells and whistles” your company provides that separates you from your competition. Or it may come from the interaction that develops between you and your prospect (I’m referring to the friendship – not a “real” romance.)
The biggest single reason that the “romance” develops is because of mutually enjoyable face-to-face time that takes place (or “ear-to-ear” time on the phone). If a prospect likes you they will usually find a way to do business with you. However, if your prospect does not like you – it doesn’t matter how great your product or company is; they most likely will never do business with you. That “romance” is the key to attracting and retaining quality customers.
For most of my sales career, I was responsible for building my business through attracting good customers – and then directly maintaining those customers for the long haul. That meant that I was not just involved in the sales process. I was also very involved in the service process. That is not the way that all sales models are designed; however, even in cases where the sales team moves on – I highly recommend that the sales person maintains regular contact with all of their customers.
Think about your closest personal relationship – maybe a spouse or significant other. Did you develop that relationship because you had a great dinner, saw a great movie and spent a wonderful evening on the town – and then didn’t see each other again until next year? Of course not. You developed that relationship because you spent quality time with that person on a continuous basis.
Business relationships develop the same way. It doesn’t matter if you are prospecting for new business, developing your target accounts, or maintaining your existing client base. It is the consistent follow-up that develops the relationship and keeps the “romance” going.
On Monday’s post, we will talk about 7 steps that will keep your customer “romances” going for the long term.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Did you remember to get your sweetheart something for today?