Do you know the secret of closing sales? I mean sales of any kind.
Yes, your customers will listen to you all you’ve got to say but buy only when they trust you.
So, how do you gain trust of your customers?
Simple. Trust is nothing but an amalgamation of rapport & credibility. You know about both by now. Don’t you?
Here’s the ultimate formula of trust that works in any sales scenario:
TRUST = RAPPORT + CREDIBILITY
Rapport, if built correctly, will make your customers listen to you.
On the other hand, Credibility, if built correctly, will make your customers buy from you.
That’s what you should be building even before you start your sales message or pitch.
I think the best example I’ve seen that was when I was pitching my first startup product – an electronic speaker – in SP Road of Bengaluru, India. Back in 2016.
SP Road is one of the biggest markets for electronic products in India. Naturally, I was excited.
I, along with the R&D engineer (yes, he was helping me with sales as most fund-constrained startups do) visited for more than 100 shops. Over a span of 3 days.
Just one small order from a retailer.
Due to lack of sales, we started facing financial issues. Couldn’t pay our office rent nor the salaries of our employees. Everything started crumbling right in front of me.
You guessed it right. Eventually, our Startup shut down & I lost more than $ 30,000 in the process.
My head was bursting with questions like:
- “What went wrong?”
- “Is our product useless?”
- “Did we not understand the tricks of the trade?”
- “Do people not like innovative products like ours?”
After weeks of brainstorming, I could easily figure out that the problem was my ability of sell.
Yes, the hard truth.
I didn’t know how to sell.
Creating a product is just one part of the coin. You got to sell. That’s how you build successful companies.
Watched a ton of YouTube videos on sales. Consulted my marketing friends. Read at least 20 books on marketing …
It was a tough time. With no job & a failed startup, I can’t describe how it feels. Nevertheless, I was hell bent on improving my sales skills.
At the end of 2017, I started a new business. A wholesale business (sorry, I can’t reveal the niche).
Fast forward 2020, I’m hitting a sale of $ 25,000 a month & managing a team of 8 salespersons.
How did that happen?
Simple. Got good at pitching products & closing sale.
The first important lesson that I learned was about building rapport.
Be it any sales message or presentation or communication, always start with building rapport. DO NOT. I repeat – DO NOT JUMP TO BUSINESS STRAIGHT AWAY.
First, build rapport with your audience or client by talking about something personal. Something emotional. Let not the client think – “Oh, here comes another hungry salesperson!”. Your client wants to deal with a human & not a sales robot. Let your words prove it.
Here’s how you can use the power of rapport in your business or marketing communication:
As & when you meet a client, greet her by talking about something other than the business. Something that evokes response from her like:
- “It’s been raining cats & dogs...”
- “Oh, this traffic! Isn’t it horrible?”
- “I went through your LinkedIn profile & it seems you’re from Denver. I was there last summer. Amazing city…”
- “Lovely office. How long have you been working from here.?”
- “It’s almost Christmas. Time flies like anything...”
Rapport makes you look like your client’s well-wisher & not like a typical salesperson. That also makes the client trust your words. And, there’s no sales without trust.
Pro Tip: Talk to your client or audience like you do with your friends. What the first thing you say when you call your friend?
Yes, it requires practice. But isn’t that hard to master.
PS: I just built rapport in this very chapter. Did you notice? I also built credibility here. Going to talk about that in the next chapter. Excited? Let me know your thoughts at email@example.com
“Why should I listen to you?”
That’s what your clients think when you pitch your products to them.
Look, this is a noisy world. Everyday, an average person goes through hundreds of pitches. Be it on street, phone, TV, or podcast someone somewhere is trying to sell something to us.
So, how do your cut through the noise & make sure your audience takes your pitch seriously?
That’s by talking about your credibility.
After building rapport (I spoke about this in the earlier email), your next aim should be to talk about your credibility. In other words, you should talk about your credentials, achievements, or experience.
NO. I don’t mean you should brag about yourself.
You should talk about your credentials without giving the listener a hint that you’re doing so.
Let me explain this with examples:
Example #1: “So, how did you come to know about me? Was it through my LinkedIn profile that has more than 2000+ connections?”
Example #2: “As you can see through my hundreds of clients’ testimonials, I’m solely into keto diet. That’s my fitness niche”.
Example #3: “Sorry, for being late. I just finished speaking at a 1000-attendee event.”
Example #4: “I don’t generally share my visiting card with my prospects. Instead, I prefer giving away my best-selling book for FREE. Here’s the one for you.”
Example #5: “Do you know James Branson of Google? He’s a data engineer like you. I was privileged to assist him in the last year’s Google meetup here at New York.”
Example #6: “Why don’t you give me your email address? I’ll send your over my article that went viral & has been shared more than 15,000 times on LinkedIn.”
Example #7: “So, I assume James Clothing is your biggest competitor. They’re a benchmark in the fashion world. I was privileged to work for them last year. It was with regards to a digital campaign for one of their biggest launches.”
Use this strategy in your upcoming marketing communication & share your results with me.
PS: How do you describe your product or service in front of your potential client? Do you talk about its features, technical specifications…? Or, something else? Share your thought by replying at firstname.lastname@example.org