Making the sale isn’t always about having the best quality product, at the best price.

Sure, some buyers are concerned only with their bottom line, and are just hunting for one-time deals, but many are hungry to cultivate relationships with sellers, or brands, and find companies with whom they feel comfortable doing business time and time again.

For sustainable sales boosts, this is the kind of loyal customer businesses should be looking for too.  Building a comfortable rapport with clients and instilling a sense of trust are key to closing sales.  Here are some tips to keep in mind during the sales process to connect with customers on their level.

Avoid the hard-sell and ask questions instead

When a potential client shows interest in your products and services, they’ve probably already done some research and have an idea of what you offer. Of course, some clarification is good, but what they really want is an open discussion about their needs, and how you can fulfill them. Start the exchange with open-ended questions, not talking points. Listen carefully and tailor responses to each unique situation. Basically, don’t drone on about features and stats, instead give them information as they ask for it, steering them towards the conclusion that your product is the best option for them right now.

Don’t sling mud at competitors

Buyers are not interested in hearing you badmouth other brands or companies, and in fact, will likely be turned off by it. They want to hear why you are superior, not why others fail. It could come off as a smokescreen, or just push the interaction in a negative direction. Comparisons and examples are great, and should be used, but the focus should be on the quality of your products, not harping too much on the weaknesses of your competitors.

Demonstrate genuine concern for the consumer

Honesty, even if it means a delay or potential decline of a sale, is important when building relationships. Each exchange with a client, whether they are an existing partner or potential, should leave them feeling like they gained something from the interaction. That you, as a seller who wants to work with them again in the future, have their best interest at heart. Many times that will hopefully be an agreed-upon deal on a new product or service, but sometimes it will be honest advice that, right now, unfortunately you don’t have exactly what they need at the right price point, and that’s okay. They can contact you again when circumstances have changed, and you can keep them updated on new offerings or features that could lead them to purchase in the future.

Make good on your promises

Another important aspect of building trust is following through on your promises. It’s pretty much a given, but bears repeating: Deliver what you’ve discussed, consistently, on time, every time. If you’ve made a deal, stick to it, and don’t change anything at the last minute. Set and meet clear expectations during each sale.

Engage afterwards

A good way to stay in touch with your clients and keep them engaged with your brand is to connect digitally. This means networking on social media, sharing content, offering the ability for them to review products, and keeping the channels of communication open. Offer promotions and special deals for loyal customers, perhaps encouraging them to share content or positive reviews about your brand in exchange for discounts on their next purchase. Keep it light and simple online to stay memorable, but avoid pushiness.

Training sales staff solely with a hard-sell, make-the-sale-at-all-costs, mentality just isn’t the way to go about it anymore.These days, consumers have options and they know it. Giving them a voice and turning sales into more an exchange than a pitch will keep them coming back.

Contact us to learn more about developing a sales strategy with your team that will delight customers and sustain repeat business.

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