Seasoned sales professional literally look at the entire picture in order to appropriately build the relationship, build business possibilities, and finally, secure the sale. The clues exist everywhere, but the two most important areas are found when sitting in front of a prospective client, and in their office. Should it be a larger company, clues are found throughout the entire building.
As you begin a dialogue regarding the other person’s predicament, and how you may help solve their problems, body language becomes a huge indicator of their interest level.
– Smiles and hospitality are a great beginning
– Raised eyebrow indicates concern and possibly disbelief
– Crossed arms show a question needs to be addressed immediately
– Looking at one’s watch indicates no interest
– Leaning in toward you shows keen interest
Should you be in a meeting with more than one person, there is group dynamics on which to keep a watchful eye.
– Glances at one another, either positive or negative tell the story of yes or no to the sale
– Disagreement among the group and with you, unless readily resolved, will eliminate the possibility of business
– Agreement among the group, and with you, allows for building the sale
As you enter someone’s office, think of it as entering a home. After all, they spend many hours per day there. Find something nice to say. For example, quickly observe family pictures, evidence of a hobby, or awards posted. Comment on one for a short conversation, and then lead into the business at hand.
Sometimes a wrench is thrown into the best-laid plan upon meeting with a non-communicative person. But you can still save the day by adhering to these strategies.
A long time ago, I was a assigned a particular city as a client, and one that was associated with Silicon Valley. I was excited, and anticipated having the prospective client on my resume. All of the Department Heads liked me, and what I had to offer. BUT, I needed to meet with the person in charge of the budget.
Heeding the advice just laid out for you, I entered his office. It was in the basement with little sunlight. The furniture was in bad repair and nothing was hanging on the walls. It was shocking, that in a thriving city, the Purchasing Manager for the city sat in such an office.
Thank goodness, as I walked past his desk, I saw one picture, and that was of a horse. Not knowing what else to say, I simply asked, “What is the name of the horse?”
That one question produced an hour-long friendly conversation. It was the gentleman’s horse housed in the mid-West. His fondest desire was to retire on the farm and once again be close to his horse. And my fondest desire at that moment was achieved by his agreeing to my proposal.
No sales technique or strategy will ever match a heart-to-heart conversation with your clientele. And when you do this, you differentiate yourself from almost everyone else in your field. Your personal achievement is that of building a formidable personal brand.
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