Consistent sales success is a must for any business. Making the statement is easy – putting that plan into action is the hard part. That’s where TRACKFARE comes into play. Over the coming weeks, we’ll discuss how optimising and improving your business with our fine-tuned method gives you the foundations you need to give you profit, productive sales techniques and above all, prospects.
TRACKFARE cuts through all the waffle-y words and marketing fluff and gets straight the point of what your business needs. An easy to implement, precise method to build up your business to be a long-term success. The first step in a three-part model system designed to enhance your business practices, TRACKFARE explores nine core foundations that you need to utilise to improve your business; bringing in more prospects, converting them to fantastic leads and ultimately increasing existing customer satisfaction.
Over the past weeks, we’ve learnt all about the first five letters of TRACKFARE; taking a closer look at anything from Confidence to Trustworthiness. Many aspects combine to make your business more successful – and encourage even more prospects – and we’ve got just a few more lessons to teach. This week we’ll be looking at the ‘F’ in TRACKFARE, which stands for ‘Friendly’.
What’s so necessary about your attitude and mannerisms when dealing with customers and prospects? More things than you’d think. It’s not just about what you do, it’s how you do it, and your friendliness is a big part of it. No-one wants to deal with a rude salesperson or uninterested business owner, and if these behaviours ring a bell, then it’s something that needs to change before you begin to lose out on prospects. A smile costs nothing, after all!
Looking for some tips and tricks of how to put your friendliness into practice? Keep reading. We’ll get you on the right track.
Why be friendly?
We know when it comes to business it can be difficult to maintain a friendly persona; whether it’s an awkward customer, demanding prospect or frustrating staff member, remaining friendly and upbeat can feel like an uphill struggle. It might be tempting to let your smile drop in these situations, but it’s much more rewarding to maintain that friendly attitude in the long run.
The benefits of being friendly are twofold; when it comes to developing your prospects to customers, friendliness gives you that little additional push to help you built rapport; whether that’s a shared joke, chatting about your latest holidays or asking about their kids. That personal touch is your inroad to a positive relationship, and your prospects will be a lot happier to pick up the phone and give you a call.
The benefits don’t stop there; friendliness is also an excellent way to maintain your existing relationship, leading to further leads, happy customers and more future opportunities. Word of mouth is important in any industry, and happy prospects are much more likely to suggest your business.
Take an Interest
It’s the little things that count. Whether your prospect is just telling you about a great day out they had or talking about their new TV, shutting off isn’t an option – trust us, your prospects will pick up on the fact that your interest isn’t on them in no time.
Don’t think of your prospects as just potential sources of leads and money; they are fully-rounded people, and as such their lives won’t revolve around purchasing your product or service. Showing an interest in their activities, their holidays and their jobs helps you to sell your product and helps your prospect to open up to you that bit more.
A study developed by Susan Fournier adds, even more, meat to this concept – with the conclusion being that ‘People form relationships with brands like they form relationships with humans.’. That might sound like a simple concept, but it’s one that’s easy to forget when you’re talking to an anonymous person over the phone or on emails.
Courtesy is Key
According to a McKinsey study, 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated. That’s a whole lot of people you’re missing out on if your prospects feel they’re not being treated correctly, and a bit of common courtesy can help smooth your transactions and please your potential customers.
Manners are just the tip of the iceberg, though of course, it’s essential that all your staff and those representing your business treat your prospects with respect. Don’t think of yourself as doing your prospect a favour; before a prospect chooses to buy from you, your primary goal is to support and help them make their decision in any way you can, and your attitude should reflect this.
Courtesy also extends to taking on board your prospect’s wishes. If they have requested not to be called at certain times, ensure you and your staff are aware of this. If they have asked for more time to think, provide them with that space. Your behaviour will be far more appreciated than a pushy sales pitch where one isn’t required; sometimes subtlety goes a lot further.
Keep your Ears Peeled
This should go without saying, but when you’re talking to your prospect, you should also ensure you’re listening to them too. It’s no use barging in with a generic sales pitch when your prospect is ready and waiting to tell you exactly what they need, so give them a chance to express their opinions and thoughts before steamrollering in with your own.
A study by SAP suggests that when it comes to marketing businesses, only 17% of business owners and marketers bother to personalise the customer experience and tailor it per individual. This is of vital importance when it comes to developing ongoing customer relationships. A CRM system gives you all the essential data, but your relationship with your prospects should go above and beyond that.
We’re not asking you to stalk your potential customers, but it goes back to the point of listening; not only to what could potentially make you an immediate sale, but also what’s important to the customer in general.
Make is a best practice to include some little titbits of information about each prospect you form a relationship with, whether it’s something as simple as their birthday or even their favourite type of car. Anything that can start up a conversation and get it flowing is useful.
Hand out those Compliments
Flattery will get you everywhere, but make sure it’s genuine. You’d be surprised how often people can tell you’re lying – or maybe you wouldn’t be, depending on which side of the sales process you’ve been on more often! Sleazy sales are best left back in the 80s, whereas relationship building is a much more worthwhile use of your time.
Receiving a genuine compliment can make your day, even if it’s something small or insignificant. If you’re struggling to come up with a compliment, don’t force it – and remember that there’s always much more to compliment than appearance, so try not to fall back on that at every opportunity.
Whether or not your prospect is troublesome – and let’s be honest, there’s always some that are! – There’s always something to compliment, whether it’s their punctuality at a networking event, their intelligence in a particular subject or how lovely their children are. Don’t make the mistake of being too personal or too forward, but a generally positive sentiment slotted into a regular conversation is very rarely not appreciated.
Of course, it also works both ways. According to a study in the Journal of Marketing Research, if your hard work in relationship building results in a happy customer and a positive business perception, then that customer is more likely to spend 9% more the next time they buy from you; which, depending on the product, isn’t a small amount!
It goes without saying, but whoever you’re talking to – whether their potential worth to your company is large or small, and whether or not you like them personally – should be offered the same level of mutual respect. If you want respect from your prospects, you have to give out some yourself!
Just Calling to Say Hello
Follow-up sales calls aren’t a new thing by any means, and in many businesses, it’s standard to follow up on a sale to check how it all went and if the customer needs anything further. But how often do you call your existing customers to say ‘hello’ a few months down the line?
This is where your honed social skills come into play. Initiate the conversation using the information you’ve gathered from past conversations with your prospect; ask about their family, check how they got on with their business trip or see if they did end up buying a new house.
A quick catch-up is also a good chance to reiterate that you’re grateful for their business and answer any more queries they might have – but the objective of this call is to catch up rather than sell, so go light on the product talk!
Though this exercise is in part a clever way to have your business back at the forefront of their mind when it comes to their next purchase, it’s also an additional touch point that you can use to impress your customer. Happy customers are more likely to get out there with some valuable word-of-mouth marketing for your business, as well as being 14x more likely to buy from you again, according to a study by Marketing Metrics.
Ok, got it! What’s next?
We hope you’ve got a smile on your face following today’s TRACKFARE lesson – we know we do! Friendliness can make all the difference between a prospect making a purchase or passing over your business – definitely something worth remembering next time you’re on the phone to a troublesome customer. Positivity is key!
You don’t have to make your customers your friends, and we’re not asking you to invite them round to dinner, but a little bit of interest does go a long way. Give it a try for yourself, and we’re sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the response you receive.
Can’t wait a whole week for more? If you want to give TRACKFARE a go, we’ve launched a video series covering all nine steps of the model; including invaluable strategies and innovative methods to further develop your prospects and bring you even more profit. There are over 3 hours of content included, stuffed full of tips and tricks to get your business on ‘TRACK’ (get it?). As we always like to remind you, TRACKFARE is what you need to increase your prospects – we’ll help you make sure you’re giving the right message, give you the correct mind set and give your profits a boost in the long term.
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