Most aspiring entrepreneurs praise planning and organizing, resistance to stress, analytical thinking, cost control or leadership as their top skills. Many of the ones who are starting their journeys as business owners are also great visionaries.
Some envision that they don’t need to learn how to sell and that their products and services will magically become visible, important and relevant in the minds of potential clients.
Unfortunately, they are far from truth. There is no magic formula in business. Just cold facts – no product is going to sell itself.
So if you are serious, determined and driven for success, the sooner you realize the importance of sales the better for you (and your business, of course!) .
Here is the deal – the art of selling is one of the fundamental competences of our times and definitely one of the key aspects that can make or break a business. The good news is that like any other skill you can learn how to do it.
One of the best practices that can take your selling skills from average to extraordinary is engaging clients. It requires a bit of practice but, all in all, it is relatively easy and quick to implement.
The concept is based on simple psychology – the more energy, time and money you put in a task, the higher the chances you will stick to it. The more engagement you ignite at the beginning of the process the more passionate you will be to see the final result.
As an ambitious entrepreneur you can use this knowledge to your own advantage. If you succeed in engaging your clients on different levels your chances of closing the deal double.
Sounds pretty sweet, doesn’t it?
Now here are some of the techniques you can use to build and increase customer engagement:
1. Wake up the senses
The more senses you trigger the deeper and more memorable the experience. It is a given that your client will see you and listen to you. That’s two senses. But you need more! Activate the sense of touch. If you do not have a physical product prepare some handouts. Make sure clients can to use their hands.
2. Look into the future
Ask your client to imagine the future using your product or services. Lead the task so that the picture “painted” is blissful and peaceful.
The aim is for the client to feel happy and confident. You want them to see the positive change; the improved, better future. Ask a lot of supporting questions: how, why, who with, how long etc. For example, “How much time will you be able to save?’ ’or “How is the atmosphere in the office going to improve? ”
3. Cultivate reciprocity
Reciprocation recognizes that people feel thankful and obliged to those who do something nice for them (e.g., give them a gift). They feel indebted and committed to return the favour and, in many cases, pay back even more.
In short, if you desire a friendly climate of giving and receiving – play nice and be generous. Take into account, you have to start the cycle and provide something first. As a result your clients will be more open and willing to give in return.
4. Get it in writing
Ask the client to write something for you. It can be as simple as filling in a document or drawing some kind of sketch. These days we are so used to typing we tend to forget that ‘normal’ waiting is actually very beneficial for us. It activates various parts of our brains and, in general, it is a lot more stimulating that tapping the keyboard. Remember, a bored client is unlikely to jump on board.
5. Ask for help
Once a person does something for you, in all likelihood they will do it again. As if they are already pre-programmed to do small favors for you, according to the rule, “in for an inch, in for a mile.” So, ask your client for small gestures. Initiate cooperation. For example, “Can I have a glass of water, please?’ ’ or “Can I borrow your pen for a second, please?”
If you are fortunate enough to secure more than one meeting with a client then you have a brilliant opportunity to share “homework”. But don’t make it a big time-consuming task! Encourage the client to think about you and your product outside of the office. This will make your client feel that they’re an essential and integral part of the process. For example, “For our next meeting please think of what else we can do for you.”
Engaging clients is one of the best proven ways to put yourself in higher gear as an entrepreneur. It is the way to go if you want to be more efficient as a seller of your own products and services.
Bare in mind that making the sales conversation truly involving requires some practice and finesse. But it’s not dumb luck, magic or wishful thinking – it is pure science. So use it fearlessly.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Daria Jedraszyk, co-founder of TAO Living, taoliving.co.uk is a fearless entrepreneur who is passionate about the power of positive thinking and affirmations. Practices life minimalism and can-do attitude. Believes it is better to part of the solution not the problem. Open-minded and curious never stops asking questions. Good listener. Slightly sarcastic, yet an optimist with a contagious laughter. Connect with @TAO_Living on Twitter.
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