Planning a proposal at 40,000 ft.
Ok, I admit it. I am the person you sit next to on an airplane and carries on a conversation with my seatmate the-whole-flight. My friends often comment that they can’t believe how a person feels comfortable enough with me to convey their complete life story on a one-hour flight. I have even helped a member of our Armed Forces plan his proposal at 40,000 feet. However, that’s just me acting in my natural state of sincere curiosity. For some people like me, it comes naturally, for others it’s learned.
I have the pleasure of managing sales professionals that make daily in-person sales calls. While the types of sales calls can vary from a cold call, to a scheduled presentation, one aspect of the selling process never changes, they must always first and foremost build rapport, or at least they should.
I find it fascinating how some businesses have become so accustomed to sending email and text messages that they have lost sight of the impact made in face-to-face interactions. Estimates show the US digital marketing spend will approach $120 billion by 2021 which includes e-mail marketing. In the medical device space, we rely heavily on in-person meetings to deliver information to key decision makers and influencers.
Decision makers have become increasingly busy. They don’t have time to read the latest email in their inbox from their kid’s teacher or coach, why would they stop and learn what you are trying to sell them if they don’t already know you?
I want to remind you that although you may have to bring in lunch or breakfast to speak to a decision maker, you are not a paid caterer hired to shoot the breeze and make new friends. You are hired to close business. You are in front of the decision maker to build rapport and to discover what are the most significant problems the customer has and relate those problems to the solutions you are providing in the form of your product or service.
There is a saying that “no one likes to be sold,” but do you hear people say, “no one likes to make new friends or acquaintances?” Not so much. In this blog, I will be deconstructing the art of building a rapport and healthy relationship with your customers and prospects. The information shared is a result of my experience and insight from some of the industry’s leading sales executives. My goal is to deliver enough information to put you on the right track to building the highest quality relationships you can. Relationships are what we in sales hang our hats on, and they are something valuable that we can take with us regardless of the company we represent.
Enjoy and happy selling!