My “Seek first to understand, then to be understood”
While approaching potential clients, it would serve you well to follow Stephen Covey’s advice, in his ground-breaking book: ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People’.
Only if you are genuinely interested in your clients, can you understand them. Only if you understand them, can you deliver anything of value to them.
While this might sound obvious, it is not uncommon to see salespeople going on and on about their wonderful products, paying no attention to the client’s interests, issues and targets.
There is a thin line between sounding interested and sounding patronizing. Mutual respect is key in any relationship, especially so with a client.
Most clients do not like to admit that someone else can easily solve their “problems”. It might pay off better to use positive sentences like “Are there any situations in your business that you would like us to work with you on?” or “Where do you think we can contribute to your expertise in order to achieve this?”.
While communicating, ask for their feedback on your business functions and ways that you can improve your business services to better meet their needs.
When we understand our clients, it will help us build positive relationships with them. That’s how they build trust, leading to loyalty. Loyalty is of utmost importance as it ensures their continued patronage as well as referrals.
When you apply this basic yet powerful principle to your business, it is bound to build stronger relationships with your clients, directly translating to increased sales.