When it comes to building rapport in conversations, the key is to keep it simple and listen, listen, listen! It is all about trust and relationships; companies do not do business with companies; people do business with people.
Before you go to a company’s facility, do your homework - know your customer and their products, find a mutual subject and focus on it at the start of the conversation.
Be aware of your surroundings, starting with the town the company is located in, the parking lot, lobby, hallway wall fixtures, and then scan the entire office you are about to have your meeting in. You will be surprised how effective this is. Many times, your best source of information is the person at the front desk. If they are willing, talk with them about current situations at the facility; often they will give you more than you ask for.
When you enter the place where you are meeting with your contact person, focus on a wall picture and mention it, from there the person you are meeting with will start talking. Be responsible and listen, listen, listen; when it is your turn to talk, mention a subject you heard them talk about. Keep this conversation going as long as they are comfortable with it, keep the subject about them and / or their company. People like to talk about themselves and hear less about you - reply in reference to them. Keep the conversation positive, if they mention a negative, transform it into a positive.
They will let you know when they are ready to hear about you, then it is time to focus on subjects they mentioned.... (while you were listening, listening, listening)
Present your services as an opportunity at an investment, not so much as a cost - people like to think they are getting a good deal to rationalize the investment. Mention similar projects that you have had success in the past and identify positive values from actual projects.
Throughout this process over time, you will learn about their needs (never use the term problems). Continue the conversation around them and capture several need subjects to follow up with specific data to supplement their request. Establish a return response, call/email, and or additional site visit to share your specific findings that can assist them with their needs.
Close the meeting with a personal touch, mention something else they had talked about so they will know you were listening, listening, listening.
BOOST SALES SKILLS: Building Virtual Relationships Training Series for Illinois Manufacturers
January 20 | 8:00 am
This three part series will build a framework for a sales team to understand and implement the skills, mindset and process to sell virtually.
Missed the Sales Recovery in Crisis Times: “Start Me Up!” Revenue Recovery Planning Webinar? Download the recording.
If you have questions or need help navigating this pandemic, contact the Illinois Manufacturing Helpline industry experts will respond within one business day!