While you will never be able to close 100% of your sales, there are guiding principles almost as old as love itself that will help customers fall in love with your product and make the sales process a whole lot easier. No magic, no secret formula, just years of testing and refining sales that you can implement next time you talk to a customer.
Tell a story that’s relatable.
The best relationships start with a conversation. Humans have used storytelling for thousands of years to convey information, teach lessons, evoke empathy and create loyalty. Stories were how people warned tribemates about a predator at the watering hole or shared the best place to catch a fish, always creating some sort of value for the listener. Some of the most successful modern companies have a strong foundational or developmental narrative.
Even if you don’t have an interesting product creation story, consider developing narrative ideas for marketing or sales pitches. Your sales team will find it easier to remember a compelling backstory or professional anecdote that can help keep the conversation flowing and avoid having to think on their feet.
Make the customer feel heard and understood.
Customers have enough to deal with when it comes to business operations, so make sure you keep the focus on them if you’re hoping to catch their attention. You might find yourself spurned while wooing potential consumers if all you do is sing your own praises, or tout the special deal you want to offer them that day. You need to make your message relevant for the customer and approach the sale from their perspective. What specific problem can you solve? How is your product or service going to make them more successful?
Before a first date, most people want to know a little bit about the other person. The same is true in sales. Research is key to figure out someone’s needs, wants and desires. Make sure you thoroughly research a prospect’s company and industry before starting sales outreach. Also, you can ethically leverage cognitive biases to help prospects overcome objections and see how your product can be their solution. And most importantly, you can think about the prospective customer’s challenges and needs, and how you can form a strong partnership.
Know your client’s history.
It is also important to know where your prospect currently stands as it pertains to interest or need in your product, or whether they’re already talking to someone else. For example, if a colleague has spoken to a client in the past. You don’t want to waste anyone’s time if your prospect is falling for some other offering. Nothing ruins a deal more than an unprepared salesperson.
Like an auspicious “little black book” in dating, a well-managed and maintained sales CRM is your secret weapon here, as your company’s history with a prospect will always be well-documented and readily available. Starting a conversation with a quick recap of this history shows effort – you took the time to get to know them – and also helps frame the resultant conversation nicely.
Learn to listen.
Nobody falls in love by rote. If you want to win over a potential client, you’ll have to be able to dazzle them with your ability to speak and respond on the fly. A well-prepared script and talk track is useful, but might land you in trouble if you are unable to shift gears and deviate from it when necessary. You should always give prospects time to express their opinions and needs, and make sure that you really listen. Being able to personalize the sales pitch makes it easier to connect with the prospect. According to McKinsey & Company’s Next in Personalization 2021 Report, 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions. And 76% get frustrated when this doesn’t happen.
Love always starts with loving yourself.
If your sales team loves your product and company themselves, they’re much more successful at conveying this to leads. Motivation, knowledge and passion can all be inspired by great leadership. Make sure you and your team love your product. If you don’t love the product internally, how can you expect a client to fall in love with it?
You can read positive reviews to psych yourself up on a Monday morning, constantly chat with the development team to stay excited about upcoming projects, or even have weekly meetings with your sales team to stay up to date with the latest product innovations. Being fully immersed in the product makes it hard to fall out of love when talking with customers.
The path to successful sales may not be paved with secrets or magic, but potential clients still respond to timeless principles that stand the test of experience. As you engage with customers, weaving these principles into your approach will help transform your sales process into a seamless and successful journey, building a bond with clients that will last well beyond that initial flush of infatuation.