Posted: August 06, 2014
Winning the sale
...and growing your customer baseBrad Bayless
I’ve been in sales for most of my career – which is to say more than 25 years. I’ve learned the ups and downs of the game through trial and error and from several mentors over the years who’ve helped steer me in the right direction. As a veteran of the finance industry and a former small business owner, I’ve learned a few keys to success for creating lasting relationships with customers. The following are a few highlights for winning the sale and growing your customer base in the process.
Focus on the customer, not yourself. Ask open-ended questions to learn as much as you can about the customer’s business and their current situation. This will help you determine whether the client truly needs and will benefit from your offering.
Solve a Challenge
Provide a solution to a challenge or problem the client is experiencing. What pain can you help solve? Can you help them free up cash? Acquire the technology or equipment they need to operate or expand? Bundle multiple lease items? If you can offer an optimal solution you will prove your value and help set the course for a long-term partnership.
One of the biggest reasons salespeople get objections is because their offerings are not what the prospect was expecting to pay. This often occurs when the salesperson fails to find out, manage or set the expectations of the prospect. Offering a series of options early on in the sales process is an ideal way to manage the client’s expectations and the relationship.
Ask for the Sale
Many salespeople – from newbies to veterans like – are anxious about closing the deal. Fear of rejection is often the culprit. I’ve learned that one of the best closing techniques is to simply ask for the sale. Are you ready to move forward? Have I done enough to earn your business? I’ve brought the final paperwork with me today. Asking for the sale at the appropriate time will give the client the feeling you’ve earned the business and are confident moving forward.
Do What You Say You Will Do
One of the most critical parts to the sales process is follow-through. Your job is not complete when the deal is. In fact, it’s just beginning. The very best sales professionals do what they say they are going to do and pay attention to the details. Whether it’s adhering to the timeline you’ve outlined, providing additional information or just following up with a phone call, a thorough and thoughtful approach ensures customer satisfaction and provides an opportunity for earning repeat business.
I’ve learned that the most successful salespeople enjoy servicing their customers and keep the focus on the clients’ needs. If you consistently treat your clients the way you like to be treated, you will establish trust and a strong rapport. Creating value for your customers, believing in your offering and working hard to earn their business will help you win the sale 99 percent of the time. In doing so, you will reap the benefits of increased sales and long-term business relationships.
Brad Bayless is Vice President of Dynamic Funding, Inc. He has more than 20 years of experience in the commercial finance industry and is a former small business owner. Contact Brad at 303.754.2007 or firstname.lastname@example.org.