We go through it every year—that awkward family get-together during the holiday season. Yes, there’s always good food and presents, but those few hours can be more than just a bit uncomfortable.
Surprisingly enough, I actually think there are quite a few things we experience during those get-togethers that we can apply to selling. Here are some I could think of.
1) Relationships Are Hard To Build With Infrequent Contact
For most of us, we don’t get to see our extended family on a regular basis, which makes that annual get-together even more award because you’re forced to try to make conversation with a person you only know surface-level details about.
Sales are similar in that it’s hard to build a solid relationship when you’re only making contact with a lead once every 6-7 months. Chances are, you’re going to keep having the same conversation over and over again because there just isn’t much else to talk about. If he didn’t have questions then, he’s not going to have them now.
Following up consistently with leads, even if it’s just to touch base to see if you can do anything to help, is critical to developing solid relationships.
2) Professionalism Needs To Extend To Everyone
Even if your lead isn’t a decision-maker, make him feel like he is by asking intentional questions and treating him with respect. Don’t overlook the lower people on the totem pole. Chances are, these are the people you’ll be in touch with after the deal has closed, and they can be a good advocate for you.
No, you don’t like talking to Cousin Jerry, but you really like talking golf with his dad. To some extent, if you want one, you’re going to have to take the other as well.
3) Keep The Conversation About Them
The best way to battle an awkward family situation is to keep the conversation going so you don’t get frozen in uncomfortable silence. And the easiest way to keep the conversation going is to ask about the other person.
Sales calls can be uncomfortable for your lead, especially if he doesn’t know much about your products or services, so make him feel as comfortable as possible by lobbing a few easy questions his way. It doesn’t get much easier than talking about yourself, so lead him with a few intentional questions.
Keep these tips in mind while you're celebrating this holiday season.
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