When businesses express a desire to grow, this usually means they need new customers. New customers are a vital part of the process to grow your business and possibly the most important factor; however, they are not the only element.
Your existing customers will all have more value to you than you currently realise; however, today we will just concentrate on finding a few new ones.
Most people think that there is some weird science to finding new people to do business with, and many marketing executives create extensive strategies outlining techniques. My experience brings a very simple take on the matter, and that is the more people you speak to the more customers you will get. Now I agree that developing your skills and refining techniques will add improvements to the success of that process, but until you have reached some level of success there is nothing to improve upon. 100% improvement on zero is still zero.
People do business with people they like and trust. People also buy from people and not service providers or retailers. As such, it would be fair to say that if we are looking to find more customers, we must first find more friends. Finding customers is just like looking for romance, and there are certain rules that guarantee success. In business, our tool for flirting with our prospects is called rapport, and to master rapport please follow these 6 simple steps:
1. Smile. The first decision somebody makes when they meet you for the first time is whether they find you attractive or not. Smiling adds to your attraction and makes you more approachable. In sales, just smiling from the inside is not enough, please remember to tell your face that you are happy!
2. Show a genuine interest in other people. As the most important person in your own life is yourself, this is more difficult than it sounds. Showing interest means asking questions and more questions. Your enthusiasm in their life will really help. Be interested – not interesting.
3. Encourage others to talk about themselves and listen. If you rearrange the letters of the word listen it spells silent. Active listening is a skill that must be practiced. Eye contact, nodding and simple gestures encourage others to give more information. Don’t be afraid to remain silent after someone’s response to a question. They will fill the pause with further detail.
4. Use the person’s name where possible. The sweetest sound to any person in any language is their own name. However, to use it, you must have remembered it so listen carefully, it’s important.
5. Talk about their interests not yours. We do not all have the same motivation towards decisions. As such, it is your prospect’s motives that are important. Your approach should be how your product or service will help your prospect achieve their goals.
6. Make the other person feel important. Simply opening and closing a conversation correctly can have a massive impact on people. Old fashioned courtesy and manners wins massive bonuses in today’s society. Remember to say “thank you” and do it in the most appropriate way. If you get a chance to show an act of kindness, even opening a door, then take it.
Introduce these simple steps in everyday conversation when out in your marketplace, and you will be blown away by the results. Remember, that until you have built rapport, the customer is not ready to make a buying decision.