By Grace Gopez on Nov 13, 2014 10:24:00 AM
1. Spend More Time Listening Than Talking
Get to know your prospects by asking a lot of questions. This way, you truly learn what this person really needs help on. The more you listen, the better you are positioned to respond. It is simply part of Client Relationship 101. Understanding each other is the key to an effective working relationship.
2. Value Over Price
Refrain from discussing rates over the phone or meetings until the near closing stage. Give them a range only if you feel that it will help the prospect make a decision. Most client meetings or phone calls are of limited time, therefore try to maximize the communication by figuring out how you can deliver as much value as possible, and how the conversation will be more about the challenge rather than about you. Once you have built a mutual understanding of how things can be done, you may then follow up with a detailed rate card for evaluation and perhaps a feedback too.
The most important thing is to have healthy business relationships with happy clients. And to be able to provide good service that benefits your clients, spend less time thinking about how much earnings can be made and focus more on the delivery of expected results.
3. Turn Away Business
Would you rather have 20 "just satisfied" clients than having half the number of 'happy' ones? The strong source of revenue of most successful businesses come from repeat customers.
Try not to pressure yourself to sell when you enter a conference or events. Focus on creating and building new relationships instead. This mindset will put you in a position that engages on objective conversations. Give your prospects the feeling of confidence in you by sharing the best possible information with them, even if you end up recommending an alternate solution or other service providers to them. If they want to work with someone else, it's okay. At the end of the day, what matters most is that the people you talked to will succeed. Be equally excited being a referral engine for your peers (even if they are competitors), this will build up your reputation as a businessman/consultant. Good things will come back ten-folds.
4. Create An Inbound Marketing System
If you are not very good in cold pitching, it doesn't mean you can't do business or get sales/clients. Build a system that generates targeted leads almost effortlessly. The principle of Inbound Marketing* is based on over-delivering information of 'freemium' value to create a great impression, thereby warming cold visitors to look up to you as an authority of your expertise and to want to learn more about you as a person and your better offers.
The current, more acceptable trend in marketing communications is leaning towards dialogue rather than sales talk. It may take months or years to master the skill of business conversation but when you care to invest in objective conversations with the prospects you meet, soon enough you are going to reap what you sow.
* Inbound marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.