ImageEveryone seems to have a different opinion on what really works in obtaining leads, and then nurturing those leads through the entire long –  often extremely long sales process.  It seems that today, even though we have so much more available to us in the way of information, what still matters most is that at the core of each sales process, is the art of relationship building.   

Try to get yourself in the head of your customers. Talk to them. Ask them what questions were going through their mind when they decided to start looking for a solution like yours. What is it that everyone in your audience or market needs or desires?

The human side of sales should never be underestimated, and needs to be managed throughout the entire process.  All of the technology that we have are extra tools that will help us 

You should feel out the sales prospect to see if your product or service is affordable to them, fits a need they have, can be delivered in a timeline that works for both parties, and that the person you're pitching to actually has the authority to make purchasing decisions.   Also, dropping your pitch too early is like turning the meeting over to the prospect, who may start to ask many questions, therefore putting you in a defensive position.  

Responding to your first offer doesn’t indicate that someone is ready to buy. But, it indicates that this is someone who is within your market space. You want to establish trust and credibility with this person so that when they are looking for what you sell, they reach out to you. That’s why you’ve got to have a plan in effect to nurture the relationship regularly.

People are more likely to buy from you if you can create an emotional connection, which you can start doing from the first meeting.

To begin to make this connection, you need to hit on the prospect's ego, their emotions, frustrations and concerns.  Most customers and prospects do want to talk if you ask them the right questions, but may ted to tune you out when you start talking on and on about features and benefits.   

How do you deal with a resistant buyer? 

It is a rare instance when a salesperson does not receive "resistance" – a concern from a prospect.  In most cases the resistance is expressed verbally but other times the resistance is in a non-verbal fashion, such as with a confused facial expression. 

While handling sales resistance may sound like the more difficult part of selling, most successful salespeople actually welcome and even encourage it as part of the selling process. Why? Mainly because it is an indication the prospect is paying attention to the presentation and may even have an interest in the product if their concerns can be effectively put to rest.

To overcome resistance, salespeople are trained to make sure they clearly understand the prospect's concern.  Salespeople are rarely able to make the sale unless resistance is overcome.  This is where you are going to dig deep and use all of the sales knowledge and experiences you have gained over the years to solution the problems that are standing in the way of further gaining a prospect's trust, and ultimately get a closed deal.  This is where you can show where your sales expertise lies.   This is where the "cookie cutter" sales process goes out the window, and you step up and show them how you are different from the rest.   This is where your own individuality will add to everything you have done up to that point.  All of the technology – emails – meetings – etc. are all good, but you are still running the show, and you should make every effort to give it your best – each and every time.

You may not get every deal that you go after, but if you take the necessary steps I've talked about above, the odds are in your favor that you will be taking steps towards sales success, rather than away from it.  Continue to challenge yourself to learn about what is happening in the sales world now, as well as the direction that it is headed.  Maintaining that ledge is what will keep you current, and ultimately keep you a step ahead of your competition.