In today’s sales environment, having the most product knowledge and the best pitch or presentation can only take you so far. What really makes prospects and clients eager to buy from you is the amount of love they feel from you.
Yes … Love.
While most people think that love has no place in business—and especially in sales—quite the opposite is true. In reality, love is like a magnet. The more love you put out to others, the more you’ll attract positive outcomes (in this case, sales).
Realize, though, that the love required is not the romantic type, so you don’t have to date your clients or woo them with candy and flowers. Rather, love in sales is more about caring, showing compassion, and being genuinely interested in the other person. These kinds of emotional factors carry a lot of weight in today’s selling situations. Savvy salespeople know the value of love and display it to their clients daily. Here’s how you can too.
Acknowledge your prospects and clients. It’s common for clients to go with a more expensive product or one with fewer features simply because they like the salesperson. If you think that doesn’t make sense, consider that the greatest human need is to feel appreciated. Often, the salespeople of the winning products simply made their client feel special. Especially in today’s technology age where person-to-person contact is often limited to emails or texts, developing a real bond with others and showing love by acknowledging them is more important than ever.
For example, Tina sold merchant credit card services. There was one large company she really wanted to get in with, but the decision maker continually told her no—that he was happy with their current merchant services provider. But even though he said no, Tina continued to follow up with him, always taking the time to talk with him about things other than her product. During one of those conversations she learned when his birthday was and she notated it in her calendar. When his birthday rolled around, she sent him a very funny, yet tasteful, singing telegram. He called her on the verge of tears, thanking her for the kind gesture and revealing that no one—not even his wife or kids—remembered his birthday. The next day he signed up and became one of Tina’s best clients. A little acknowledgement goes a long way.
Help others—with no strings attached. Zig Ziglar once said, “You can get everything in life you want if you just help other people get what they want.” That sentiment holds true in sales. The more you help your clients—without expecting anything in return—the more business you’ll eventually receive. Therefore, show your love by doing things that help people in their business and in their personal life. Recommend other companies—even your competitors—if you aren’t the best fit for their needs. Make introductions to businesses and individuals your client may enjoy knowing. And above all else, do something nice for your clients just for the sake of being nice.
Phil sold radio advertising for a small station. One of his prospects owned an advertising agency who bought ad space for large national companies. Each time he approached his prospect, she told him no—that his station was too small for their large accounts which demanded higher ratings before committing to advertising. Phil knew she had an eight-year-old daughter, as did he, so when he won four tickets to a One Direction concert, he asked her if her daughter would like to join his family to the show. The prospect was thrilled, but she suspected that Phil would expect her business in exchange. He assured her that was the furthest thing from his mind; he simply thought her daughter would enjoy the concert. The prospect knew her daughter loved One Direction, but she couldn’t imagine going to the concert and listening to all the screaming girls, so she took Phil up on the offer. While the prospect didn’t buy from Phil due to her need for higher ratings, she did refer some colleagues to him who were looking for radio advertising time, and many of them bought, ultimately resulting in more business than he ever had. By giving without expecting anything in return, Phil got paid handsomely.
Treat your prospects and clients like friends. When you hang out with your friends, do you force yourself on them and only talk about or do things that interest you? Or do you think about their likes and needs and talk about and do things you both enjoy? Chances are that you take your friends’ needs and likes into consideration and do what you can to make your time together enjoyable. The next time you meet with a prospect or client, show them love by treating them the same way you’d treat your friends. Let them talk about things that interest them, even if it’s not about what you’re selling. And when you discover something they enjoy, find a way to help them get what they want.
Chris was a successful call center technology salesperson who drove a sporty new Corvette—a gift he bought himself when he reached a major sales goal. One day he learned that a prospect he had been calling upon for the last few months would be in town for a conference. He knew this man was a car enthusiast, so he offered to pick the prospect up from the airport in his Corvette. The prospect agreed. When Chris pulled up, he immediately noticed the big smile that came across the prospect’s face. Without missing a beat, Chris asked, “Hey, would you like to drive it?” The prospect jumped at the opportunity. As the two of them drove down the highway to the prospect’s meeting spot, the conversation was about everything other than call center technology—cars, sports, food, etc. Chris treated his prospect the same way he treated his friends, and the next day the prospect called and asked Chris for a detailed proposal for his products. A few months later, the deal was closed … and Chris had not only a new client, but also a new friend.
The More You Give the More You Get. When your prospects and clients think of you, you want them to have positive feelings—to think of someone fun and friendly, not a pushy salesperson. So if you want to attract sales and become a top producer, start with love. You’ll find that the more love you give, the more sales you’ll get.
Pam Lontos and Troy Horne have written and recorded the song “Love is a Magnet” that shows how positive thinking will lead to increased sales and improved teamwork and productivity. Pam Lontos is President of Pam Lontos Consulting (www.PamLontos.com). She is a past Vice president of sales for Disney’s Shamrock Broadcasting. Troy Horne is an award-winning singer-songwriter who has appeared on Broadway, NBC’s The Sing Off, and Star Search.