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Never Forget Your Sales Prospects Are Human, Not Robots

My favorite observation about business and sales is that all the people you work with are human. They eat, sleep, cry, and laugh. They have families, friends, emergencies, values, dreams, goals, and retirement plans. In this new world of artificial intelligence (AI) and ever-evolving technology, it’s easy to forget this. It’s also why it’s even more important to keep their humanity in mind every time you write an email, make a call, or go to a customer meeting.
Below are several reminders I’ve found to be consistent in top-performing salespeople:

Make sure you get to know your prospects.

When you introduce yourself for the first time, guess what? The other person assumes you are human, too. Of course, the context, campaign, or relationship your business has with that person all play a role, but one thing is for certain – most of the time, prospects don’t assume you are trying to sell to them. Unless you are trying to disqualify them up front in a transactional sale, neither should you.

Relationships work best when you start by getting to know people. Help, entertain, and build rapport with them before you make any recommendations. If it’s uncomfortable for you, it probably is for them. People don’t like surprises and unpredictable interactions – we want to know it’s OK to end an interaction if it’s not beneficial. This is why Sandler training emphasizes an up-front agenda.

Feeding them should be a priority.

This one is my favorite, simply because it’s so simple. People put a huge value on food when it is being shared or given to them. The business lunch, coffee, snack, breakfast, or dinner is the most underrated tool in your arsenal. Colleagues of mine have poked fun of me for, on occasion, going out to multiple lunches in a single day. Lunches are great for introductions or keeping in touch. They can also be used after a morning meeting as a way of debriefing. If you are tight on time, have food brought into the meeting. To this day I’m blown away at how a $50 lunch can result in thousands and thousands of dollars in business. I feed friends, coworkers, customers, and prospects.

Showing you care matters.

Without question, you should respect your prospects and customers. They are investing their time with you to further develop a relationship. People want to work with those whom they like and respect. This attitude starts and works best only if it’s in the mindset of an empathetic, caring, and respectful place. I’m of the perspective that it’s important to go beyond respect, to a point where you care and value each conversation with your customer. In turn, you’ll appreciate the things these people care about. You will know this is happening when you go out of your way to help them with things completely irrelevant to your product. You will observe if they are stressed, share a laugh, and feel like you are being yourself and having fun.

To this day I’m blown away at how a $50 lunch can result in thousands and thousands of dollars in business.”

Ian Hutchison | Account Executive, Salesforce

Learn More

How to Craft the Perfect Sales Pitch By Annie Simms,
Account Executive, Salesforce
The Simple Client Meeting Rules Every Salesperson Should Follow By Laura Stack,
President and CEO, Productivity Keynote Speaker and Author, The Productivity Pro, Inc.

quotable sales tips




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