Tips from the Top®: Small Business Tips From Business Owners For Business Owners
Every business must make a sale to turn a profit. Every customer must have an objective met or have a pain relieved to agree to a sale. Unfortunately, job titles that include the words “Sales” or “Business Development” do not necessarily inspire confidence in customers’ minds. Instead, the customer may feel or think a “sales” or “BD” person is only engaging to get something from them, whether or not their objective is fully or properly met.
A good salesperson is always concerned with understanding their customer’s business and how to best serve their needs. So, as long as you have GOOD salespeople, why not change their title to more accurately describe what your customers can expect from them? Consider something along the lines of Consulting Engineer, Customer Advocate or Account Manager. Your salespeople should be there to deliver value to your customers and your customers must know that.
Getting to Know Your Clients, and Remembering What They Tell You
Remembering the little things about your prospects or clients gives you a big advantage. Be sure to record notes of what you learn as a note in the “Contacts” section of Outlook or other contact database that you use to assist you in remembering important dates (i.e. birthdays, anniversaries, etc.) or other personal details about your clients and prospects.Read more
Instead of replicating what everyone else is doing, use your unique approach to differentiate yourself and help communicate the value your company delivers.
The key to a successful project is to set client expectations clearly from the beginning and to ensure what is going to be delivered or not delivered is clearly documented in a formal agreement and signed off by the client.
Don't Get Sucked In...
All of us tend to discount the value of our company and our time; don’t get sucked into the defensiveness of a team member who may be deflecting their own insecurities rather than taking responsibility.
Always Lead the Dance
When talking to potential customers about a project, take time to ask a lot of questions and understand the real needs before quoting. This way you can lead the customer to the right solutions.
Communication with Clients is Key
Find a way to clarify what you offer and what your client wants from you.