This morning I reached out to our insurance adviser, Addam Rakow, of Fraleigh and Rakow Insurance, with questions about our renewal. It served to remind me of the importance of growing a business through relationships, not just transactions.
I have known Addam and his wife Marni for decades now. When we have questions about our policies, he responds quickly. When I bump into him at the post office, he asks about our family. When we see his parents, Greg and Marita, at basketball games, watching their granddaughter, who is out there on the court with our son, they are always warm and caring.
Here’s the thing. Their business model is one that everyone should try to emulate. Why? Because it is not based on just “getting the sale”. It is about building long-term relationships with people around them – relationships built on trust, responsiveness, and integrity.
So, how can you close more deals and get more referrals? The answer is really so simple.
Don’t just worry about the transaction. Build meaningful relationships. They will result in big sales and ongoing streams of referrals. Trust me.
Here are three strategies to put into place to more effectively build your client family:
- Listen and learn. That’s right. From the very first exchange with a prospective customer, take the time to listen. Find out what motivates her, what issues she needs to address to run her business (or life) more smoothly, and how you can be of help. Discover what specific gaps you can bridge for her with your product or service, and speak in context of those gaps when it's your turn to talk.
- Be present. Not so easy in this age of rapid-fire social media updates and an endless stream of emails in your inbox, right? Wrong! You can do it. Be present to your client. If he is speaking to you about a concern or giving you important feedback, make him feel like the most important person in the room in that moment. People are more inclined to share with someone who they feel is really listening. Be that person! You will be amazed at what you learn, and how it can enrich your success with this client and others as well.
- Stay in touch. It’s not just about the sale. What really matters is the dialogue after the sale. Reach out to see how things are going. “How has our product been working for you?”, “What can we do better?”, “How was your vacation?” are all examples of questions that make a client feel connected to you after he has signed the dotted line.
Focus on the INTERACTIONS, not just the transactions, and you will meet with remarkable success.
Join me for my sales training, taking place Friday, November 13 and Friday, November 20 in Rhinebeck, or give a call if you would like to schedule a sales intensive for your team. In addition to talking about the importance of looking at sales a little differently, we will also discuss ways to structure your sales meetings and present to win the business.
Be well, friends!
Marybeth Cale, marybethcale.com