by Frank Furness
You’ve just met with a potential new client and tension levels are fairly high. This is the stage for ‘small talk’ and developing rapport and a business relationship. So what do you speak about?
Well, think about it, who do most people like to speak about. They love to speak about themselves, so that’s what we have to do; we have to get them to speak about themselves. For many years now, I’ve used ‘past, present and future’. I’d walk into the prospect’s office, have a look around and say, “this is amazing, you’ve got this great position with this huge company, how did you get started?” Now nobody’s asked him that question for years and he is really proud of what he has achieved and how well he has done in the company. He would normally say, “Well, fifteen years ago I started as a clerk and I worked my way up……….” You just keep quiet and listen. The next question you would ask would be about the present situation. “So tell me about your position at the moment, how are things going?” and he would normally say, “well I’ve got fifteen people working for me, we’re expanding and opening three or four new branches………..” At this stage you just keep quiet and listen. Your next question is about the future and with this question you’ll learn more about your potential client than in any other part of the interview. “So where do you see yourself and your company in five or ten years time?” and you just keep quiet. What he will say now will give you all kinds of buying signals. He may say, ‘Well, I want to expand and open another three branches………’ Just think about the business you’re in and how you could help him. If you’re in recruitment, you know he will need new staff. If your business is computers, he will need new computer systems. Other requirements could be: property/rental, consumables, telephone systems, stationery, office furniture, accounting services, legal advice etc. This is where the clients talk from the heart. These are the emotions and the reasons why they’re going to buy from you, so remember that when you walk in, use ‘past, present and future.’ Also remember that logic makes people think and emotion makes them act, focus on the emotion when selling.
Frank Furness CSP CFP is a professional speaker and trainer specialising in sales and sales management. He has educated, entertained and inspired audiences in 42 countries. His publications and sales CDs have been sold globally. For more information or to sign up for the free ‘Sales Tips & Ideas’ newsletter, email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone+ 44 (0) 870 240 6505. www.frankfurness.com
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