It’s a well-known fact that people buy from people they like.

The human bond and sharing of personal stories is what ultimately leads to a close connection with clients. I have always found getting to know someone first will more likely lead to business versus simply jumping the conversation straight to business.

But there is another matter of equal importance that many miss, and sadly they often miss the business or sale too. Martin Luther King used a phrase that best describes to what I refer, “Content of character.”

Integrity, excellence in follow-up, responses to questions, and perseverance are all qualities that describe the top performing business owners and salespeople. Why? Because perfecting these habits let prospects know that you care and that you strive to deliver excellent customer service. These are key indicators for how you will perform after the sale is made. It is a known fact that many sales professionals run after securing the sale. This characteristic adds to the list of factors as to why salespeople are not well-liked by some.

A personal story:

I decided to address this topic upon hearing “Mary’s” story. Mary excels as a business development consultant. She was granted a meeting where she ultimately had an excellent conversation, and in the end shared her creative insight with the initial decision maker.

“Jim” loved Mary’s idea but needed to consult with a colleague and promised to get back to her within 10 days. Given the timeframe suggested, Mary patiently waited. Being a business professional, she followed up by phone by the 11th day and also sent an email for Jim to choose how to respond. No answer came. Mary then left another voice message joking this time about persistence. But once again, no response was received.

Mary finally found someone else in the company with whom to speak, only to learn Jim had declined her idea. Unfortunately, he also declined all future communication. It is quite possible that any ‘wrinkle’ that may have been found in the idea could have been ironed out, but Jim will never know. Mary and I both found the lack of response very rude and lacking professionalism. It was clear that this company is not of the caliber with which Mary prefers to work and that it is best she move on.

Actionable changes.

Have you ever given consideration to the qualities that hold most importance to you?

Like Mary, think back to the variety of situations that may have upset you in the past. What can you learn from these interactions in terms of avoiding future similar experiences?

If are you also upset by lack of timely response, make a commitment to be prompt yourself. Do you dislike prospects who say one thing but do another? Again, check all of your systems in place to be certain you are not guilty of the same. And should you have employees, train them to do better as well.

Admittedly, it will be rare to find “the perfect” client. But we can certainly rule many out and narrow the prospective list down to the preferred ones. The bottom line goal is to be fully cognizant of your principles and priorities, aware of your brand, and possess the knowledge to succinctly state the manner in which you can help your clientele.

As you communicate your brand and offering, observe the reaction of others to how you unveil your brand and company. Do prospects appear bored, intrigued or indifferent? It doesn’t take very long in conversation until you will know whether your prospect is a good match or not. You should feel a surge of energy between the two of you while brainstorming ideas and seeking the best solution possible.

Sales develop when others know they can count on you, and you both recognize a quality relationship is present. This is how you experience the Smooth Sale!