Many sales people today want to share with their customers how good they are, how they have helped their customers with their problems and issues. They want to tell them how knowledgeable they are and all kinds of such great things they can do for them.
The challenge is to be able to do that – subliminally, appropriately, timely – after you have established a relationship with your customers where they know you care about them, their issues and problems.
Customers don’t care about what you know, or how good your product is, or how far ahead of your competitor you are, UNTIL they KNOW that you care about them. So get yourself out of the way!
It is not about you, it is about them! Have you heard this before? Don’t sell yourself from the start. Ensure that the first conversations you have with your customer is focused on them.
The process should be about you, the professional, finding out as much as possible about that person your customer. Asking the right questions about them as human beings, about their business, about their issues, problems and plans. Getting to an overall well rounded sense of who they are and what they need help with. Once they know you care about them, they will want to know more about you, what you know, your background, expertise and how you can help them solve their problems.
Have a focused process (questions to ask in your first meetings) to find out about the customer, both professionally and as much as possible, delving into the appropriate level of personal interest and have them feel they know you genuinely care. Look at these conversations as relationship building, not just data gathering, analysis, diagnosis, prognosis and problem solving. Building a relationship as a trusted advisor, with peer level respect will be key to your success as a business professional. Learn to follow a sales process … even mediocre sales men and women sell well by following a process.