Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Lesson Three: How to maximize conversations with clients!

Don’t swear!
You will never, ever score points with a prospective client by littering your speech with swear words. I’m certainly not a prude but I’m always amazed when people use foul language at a business meeting or appointment. At best the client won’t mind; at worst he or she will take offence. Either way you aren’t enhancing your prospects of making a sale or keeping a client.

Don’t say anything which might offend during conversations with clients – running down a religion, race or population group and swearing are two absolute no no’s.

Don’t badmouth your opposition
Nothing irritates me more than when a salesman runs down his opposition while trying to sell me something, and most people I speak to feel the same way. It’s rude, unprofessional, and will very rarely score points with your potential client.

If asked about opposition products rather acknowledge their good points, then explain why your product is superior. That way you give the impression of being up to speed with what’s happening in the market place; unbiased and professional; as well as displaying good knowledge about your own product.

Assess the situation
If your client is frantically juggling phone calls and issuing orders to staff, it probably isn’t the time to try to engage him in idle chit chat. In that situation your best bet is to ask if you can come back at a more convenient time. You won’t have his full attention so don’t even try to launch into a sales pitch because you’ll be wasting your time.

Accept a cup of tea or coffee if offered
Time spent with a client is never time wasted. The more you are able to talk and connect with your client the more chance you have making a sale (provided you adhere to the two points above of course!).

Accepting a cup or tea or coffee guarantees you time with your client – use that time well.

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