If there is one word in business that draws the most connotations both negative and positive it’s the word SALES. From the feeling of being over sold on a product or service; feeling pushed into a purchase, or on the opposite end, enjoying the buying process facilitated by a great sales person and reaping the benefits of the results promised.
Regardless of your position on the word SALES, like Zig Ziglar says “were all in sales” or in the business of transport, moving people from one place to another.
I want to turn the perception of selling more on it’s head and instead look at how you can get your existing clients to buy more by selling less or in my definition trying to convince your clients less by finding more strategic ways to help and add value.
Selling less and getting more with your existing customers rests on four pillar principles I teach in the ‘Key Account Hack System’
- Focus on amplifying trust
- Reducing risk to purchase
- Connecting to the relationships that matter most
- Creating value that matters to your customer
When you focus on these four things you’ll find you’ll be selling less, and having more meaningful conversations that build present and future sales opportunities for you to help.
I'm all about what the daily tactical implications are for every lesson learnt and every strategy built.
Here are some examples of what these four pillar principles could look like for you?
Focus on amplifying trust
I wrote a few weeks ago on the topic of trust and reputation. The fact remains is trust moves on a continuum, the more you intentionally work on trust the greater influence, impact and opportunity you can create. Here are three things you can do today to amplify trust:
- Doing what you say when you say is critical in building trust. Where you can create small identified tasks agreed with the client where you could help and over deliver on every one. This is something you can apply weekly and you'll see trust soar with your client.
- Work on the relationships that matter to your client. You build a positive reputation with others you build greater trust with others around you.
- Say no to the things that are not in your expertise and recommend others. Resist the temptation to yes to everything.Instead be the facilitator that helps them find solutions even when it doesn't meet your interests.
Reduce risk to purchase
I’ve always said that Risk is the most dangerous and hidden barrier to every sale gone wrong or not happened at all. It speaks to the very nature of human reaction and decision. Fight, flight, Freeze. Or in today’s vocabulary in sales it’s: You haven’t convinced us your safe, We’ve found someone else who is and We don’t want to do anything different. Here are three things you can do today to reduce risk:
- Identify potential risks to purchase of your product or service e.g. potential disruption to your clients business operations or peoples time away from the office. Solve and show it to you client upfront.
- Make sure everything you propose is step by step, transparent and collaborative. If your client builds it with you, they also have an even heavy invested interest it making it work.
- Get another client connected who has already successfully gone through the process of purchasing something different from you.
Connect to the relationships that matter
Every connection made is a contact closer to a relationship that matters. This is exactly what this is about. You’ve got to “Think of strong client relationships as currency. The more of the right relationships you have the richer you become. It all depends on how you treat those relationships. You need to discover the relationships in your clients world that will deepen, connect and move you to people and opportunities that your contact may not be able to alone. Here are three things you can do today to help connect to relationships that matter:
- Get to know who’s most important to your clients world and Why. Start with the question. "Who is the business do you need to influence most and why?"it's a question that may take them a moment to answer but when you get it you'll know where some of that influence may lie.
- Find ways to help build your clients reputation and influence with those people
- Get to know the end users or who most benefits from your service or product. Get in touch with those managers/directors of that department with something of value and ways to help them.
Create value that matters to your customer
This is where it all comes together. Each principle supports the other as you build the ultimate buying environment for your customers to come to you more often. Value is not static. In fact it's a moving entity. You need to create value that matters in the context of where your client is today. Understanding what they need today will be critical to creating movement that leads them to acting today rather than next year. Here are three things you can do today to create value that matters to your customers:
- Find out if there is anything currently in the way of your client achieving their goals or using your services or products in the most effective way possible. Help them solve it.
- Challenge what you offer and see if it meets your clients’ needs today. If not act now and let them know.
- Ask questions to multiple people in the business that may use your product or service. How relevant is our service today in helping you succeed? collate that information and act, improve immediately or your competitor will.
If you focus on these 4 principles you’ll immediately notice higher engagement with your clients and richer insight into their business. Importantly you'll notice more opportunities to help without having to sell anything more but by simply extending the conversations you’re already having.
If you want to know more about the Key Account Hack System™ stay tuned for my upcoming book "Key Account Hack" and pre order at www.jermaineedwards.com/book
Jermaine Edwards - Founder of the Key Account Hack System™
Helping you retain your Key Accounts and grow sales from your high value customers