Clients need leadership. And leadership is the natural role of the salesperson in a sale. Your customer will naturally look to you to guide him or her through the sale. Here are three ways to assume your natural role as leader in a sale:
Lead Your Client
- Stay Ahead, But Not Too Far Ahead – Imagine you’re leading a caravan through the desert. You’d want to keep out in front, far enough out in front to see danger and keep it from you and your own, but not so far out in front that you are unaware of the needs of your caravan.
- Reflect & Visualize – Make a habit of reflecting on where you’ve been and where you’re going. After you’ve completed a stage in your sale, take some time to visualize where you are headed next.
- How? – Close your door and find some quiet time. Ask yourself how you can prepare to make your next steps smooth for both you and your client. List anything you may want to tell your client before you proceed together. Recall past client experiences and take time to visualize how a past sale played out. What went right? What could have gone better? Take time to act upon any fresh ideas you may have.
- Don’t Forget About Your Client – Sometimes one can become so caught up in a successful sale that they neglect their client. It’s not that one forgets their client, but rather, one does not give the client the attention they need. Well, perhaps you’re dealing with more than one sale. It’s easy to think, “I’ll check in with ‘Mr. So and So’ tomorrow.” Remember too that you may be well acquainted with your product and process while your new client may be drowning in a sea of questions and concerns. Remember your client often. Let them know that you have them in mind. Make a phone call, send a message, or compose a short email with an update regarding their project. Ask your client how they would like to be involved in their sale or project. Then serve them by honoring their requests.
Communicate With Your Client
- Keep Your Client Well Informed – Your client needs to be ‘in the know.’ An informed client is a happy one. Do your best to keep your customer up to speed on the current state of the deal. Let them know where you are headed together and what they can expect. It is safe to assume that your customer is responsible to report to his or her superiors on the progress of your dealings together. If you are successful in communicating with your client then you can be assured you will have an insider to champion your cause throughout the course of the sale. Don’t leave your client guessing; rather, proactively anticipate client needs and continue to make contact.
- Be The First To Speak Up – Not every aspect of a sale goes as planned. Without a doubt, you will have times when you will experience setbacks and challenges. When this happens, be the first to speak up. If you leave a problem for the client to discover, it will affect you negatively. If you, instead, choose to inform the client of any issue, then you are in control of how the problem is perceived. Your client is human. They understand setbacks. When you display maturity in leading by informing your client of a problem, you ‘set the tone’ to turn a problem into an opportunity to build trust and gain respect.
Inspire Your Client
Clients need to be inspired; you have heard of ‘buyer’s remorse?’ This occurs when your client entertains ideas of doubt or regret regarding a recent purchase.
For example: Perhaps your company sells an expensive item such as a property timeshare. A new client will walk away having made an expensive decision. A good sales force knows that a day or so after a large sale the buyer may begin to question and possibly doubt their decision.
So, some of the world’s best sales teams will reinforce their sale days after it is made. They will make a phone call to connect with the client. They may also send a gift of or an assortment of promotional materials to remind the new client about the good choice they have made.
No one can keep a buyer from doubt or feelings of uncertainty regarding a purchase. But one can build confidence and assurance by continuing to inspire a customer throughout the entirety of a sale and shortly thereafter.
Lead your clients. They’ll be expecting it and they will appreciate it. Remember it’s up to you to stay connected with your clients regularly. Continually inspire your clients by involving them in the sale and helping them to see the excitement inside your dealings together. Performing these three roles consistently will ensure you are known and perceived as a sales leader, not a sales chaser.