My money was out and I was ready to make a quick purchase, only I walked away with nothing! Why?

I was at a Farmer’s market where the fresh California produce looks beautiful and tastes just as good in the warm summer months. As another customer completed his purchase, it was my turn to make mine.

Not seeing what I wanted, I asked, “Do you have any garlic?” The vendor pointed to a tray in back of where he stood behind the counter. Instead of asking how much garlic I would like, he moved on to another potential customer, and then another and then another. I stood there ignored. So with money in hand, I walked away to move on to the next vendor.

Vendor #2 arrived to the market late. He was in the midst of setting up. His vendor friend in the next stall over had pointed him out to me. I again asked for garlic. He pointed to his truck. Instead of doing what he could to locate the garlic, he chose to finish setting up his table. It looked as if it would take quite a while and I was short on time. In frustration, I left the park and headed for the traditional market.

While garlic is a teensy sale compared to consulting fees or whatever else you might have to offer — No one has a sale without a customer.

To acquire and keep customers, respectful attention needs to be directed toward them along with thoughtful communication.
Repeat business or referrals are only earned from happy customers.

Proper communication and etiquette from the start will determine the outcome of the sale. Moving forward in business is tricky and sometimes delicate when it comes to conversation with others. You may need to ask for help. Tactful questions work well such as, “Will you be willing to…?” Or, at first, it may seem that you cannot help one another but as you question and listen for clarity, new answers and ideas frequently come forth.

One of the worst errors salespeople make is that of assumptions such as, “The client is too big, too small, or not interested in this…” You do not know for certain this is the case unless you ask. And when you ask, if you are told “no”, proceed in a friendly tone by asking, “Why?”

Asking is your counter technique for overcoming objections.
It eliminates assumptions and promotes open dialogue for further discussion and additional possibilities.

Making people feel comfortable in your presence is another form of communication. Speaking with a smile on your face will relax the other party and encourage them to give you due consideration. Beginning with open-ended questions to get the conversation started, and then fine-tuning your prospective client’s answers by further asking pin-pointed questions will give you an excellent insight into their thinking. This will lead to a practice of customized service as much as possible for each client. When this occurs, you are far more likely to be given repeat business.

Consider all of your current outstanding opportunities at hand.
Are there questions you should have asked but did not, or for which you have additional ideas but are concerned about making another call to the client? An excellent way around this is to phone and say, in your own vocabulary, “Last night, I was thinking about our conversation and was wondering if you might be interested in…?”

Clients love the fact you spent some of your spare time thinking about them and will give due consideration to your question. An open mind and creative thought will make a huge difference in your selling effort and enjoyment. Self-education and turning to experts will lead you to the Smooth Sale!