It is often said we all like to buy but no one likes to be sold to.
However, sales make the world go around, so I think it all depends more on how you are being sold too. No one likes the sales pitch on LinkedIn when you have just connected or the salesperson who just doesn’t listen but knows that you need their products or service.
If the only time you see or hear someone is when they have a new product to sell. It will soon become a little wearing.
Adding value and helping prospects between sales can make a huge difference and is a far easier way to keep in touch and build trust.
There may be quite a time lapse between someone finding out about you and the time they will buy from you. If ever they do that is. It could even be up to 11 touch points or interactions according to statistics.
So, during this time period, what are people doing?
Some will be finding out more about you, some may not realise you can help them, and others will not even realise they have a problem at all.
If you leave them to their own devices, to realise that they have a problem, you do risk the chance of them going elsewhere to solve it.
By adding value and building credibility any sales in the future will not be based entirely on price, but more on the value you give. Just look at Apple - they have built credibility and a following of fans who never question the price, even though there are many alternatives available.
Instead, here are a few things you can do to help prospects along the way and teach them to trust you:
• Use social media to increase credibility and to allow people to see how you help others. Therefore, this encourages them to see you, when they are ready to solve a similar problem.
• Ask customers for testimonials which can then be used as social proof. Which is very valuable and is something thanks to Amazon, we are all used to checking before making a purchase.
• Encourage prospects to join your mailing list, which will allow you to contact them with articles, blogs and offers, they will find useful.
• Send prospects a branded gift which will be useful to them. They are then likely to get in touch with you to say thank you. Which will create a two-way conversation and build on the relationship?
In a time where many buying decisions are made before prospects have even spoken to anyone from the business. Showing credibility is a vital part of the sales process. Allowing prospects to do their own research, is something that should not be ignored.
Obviously, you can never guarantee a sale. However, by keeping in touch with prospects and helping them to learn about what you do will give you the best chance of finding those ideal prospects, who may go on to be raving fans.