Sales Tip #1: Know who you are selling to.
While this tip may seem incredibly obvious, it is also incredibly important. Have you ever found yourself on the receiving end of a sales call where it was painfully obvious that the seller knew nothing about you or your company? How does that leave you feeling? Annoyed? Frustrated? Like the meeting was a waste of time?
As a seller, it’s easy to get so caught up in trying to highlight the benefits of your solution and the credibility of your brand that you forget to focus on the buyer. Yes, your solution and credibility are important, but it’s more important to develop a relationship with your buyer. Doing so is easier than you may think.
Take the time to learn about the people you are meeting with. Ideally, this involves doing research ahead of time: checking out the buyer’s organization and personal bio online (if their bio is not on their company website, check out LinkedIN). If that’s not possible, then start your meeting with a simple, “Hi [buyer’s name], it’s nice to meet you. Can you tell me a little about yourself and your role at [company’s name].” In fact, I suggest starting all your meetings like this because you never know when an online bio is outdated or what else you might learn about someone just by asking.
Once again, this may seem obvious, but it’s important. Why? Because sales, especially in the service industry, is becoming more about establishing a working relationship with someone than it is finding a “quick fix.” Even in the product industry, most people will tell you that they would rather buy from someone they have a relationship with rather than someone they barely know.
In the end, that is what sales is all about—building a relationship. And you can’t have a relationship with someone you don’t know.